I am trying to adapt a character who has Diamagnetic Manipulation abilities (https://powerlisting.fandom.com/wiki/Diamagnetism_Manipulation) into my own universe. Although I know superpowers do not exist in the real world, I still feel like there are realistic ways to write them, and I would like to make the sci-fi element of this character lean more towards the science part as much as possible. However, since I am no scientist, I struggle to read a lot of the jargon used in scientific explanations. Despite reading the definitions of Magnetism, Diamagnetism, Magnetic Field, Lines of Force, etc. too many times to count, I can’t seem to wrap my head around it.

Basically, what I need to know is, if something is Diamagnetic, does that mean it is repelled by magnets or that it repels magnets away from it? Or is it both? And would this person be able to wear clothes, or would their body repel the clothing away from touching their body? And this character is also described as having a belt that can be used to regulate the strength of his magnetic “aura” so as to prevent everything around him from being pushed away. In Sci-Fi logic, how could the belt do this? And what material would it have to be made out of for him to even be able to wear it in the first place?

Just for clarification: I am trying to rewrite a pretty 2-dimensional character into something more fleshed out and somewhat more “plausible” despite it still being in the sci-fi territory. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you in advance

  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to worldbuilding! If this is asking for a physics explanation, it should be on physics SE. If you want help with writing, it should be on writing SE. But part of this is world building, too, so I won't vote to close $\endgroup$
    – DWKraus
    Nov 17, 2021 at 22:39
  • $\begingroup$ Tip: avoid iron or copper as a material for your belt, or any part of clothing. No iron or bronze swords, no handguns or rifles. When strong magnetic fields are involved. magnetic metals will heat up, as a result of absorbing energy from the field ! $\endgroup$
    – Goodies
    Nov 17, 2021 at 22:56
  • $\begingroup$ So why not Iron? I understand Copper because that’s diamagnetic and will be repelled by his magnetic body, but isn’t Iron supposed to be attracted to magnetism? If they get too heated for comfort, then what material can it be made out of? If it can’t be paramagnetic or diamagnetic, then that doesn’t leave a lot of options… $\endgroup$ Nov 18, 2021 at 14:48

1 Answer 1


How you can use this in your world is up to you.

In the real world, diamagnetism is a very weak force, with the exception of super conduction (Meisner Effect).

Except for superconductors, to levitate using diamagnetism, you will need very strong magnetic fields perhaps 1 Tesla or more. Earth's field strength is around 0.00005 T

There is no difference between you repelling a magnet or a magnet repelling you - there is simply a force between the objects.

Re: real world variable strength diamagnetism, only thing I can thing off would be altering temperature to change the amount of superconducting material present.

Even with 100% superconducting material, you still need a relatively strong external field to generate enough force to levitate.

  • $\begingroup$ Altering the temperature of what? His body temperature? The temperature of the belt? $\endgroup$ Nov 18, 2021 at 14:50
  • $\begingroup$ @AnthonyFallone The temperature of the paramagnetic material that also has super-conductor characteristics. $\endgroup$ Nov 18, 2021 at 16:12
  • $\begingroup$ and this paramagnetic material you speak of is what the character will be repelling from? Also, how would the whole dipole aspect of magnets apply in this context, since this is a person and not a bar magnet? Would he have a north and south pole or is he unipolar? And do Diamagnetic materials have a fixed charge of their own that repels magnetic materials, or is it relative the charge of the magnet (meaning it only assumes a charge in the presence of a magnet, and it’s opposite to the magnet’s charge)? But in the context of magnets, shouldn’t opposite make them attract? $\endgroup$ Nov 18, 2021 at 17:55
  • $\begingroup$ You should read up on PM if you are going to incorporate the idea as a significant character aspect. PM materials are simply pushing against external magnetic fields with a strength related to the strength of the external magnetic field (though not necessarily a linear relationship). I don't think the polarity of the external field has a significant effect. All materials are PM, it's just that ferrous materials, etc. have the typical magnetic response that is far stronger than the PM aspect. I've never studied the underlying physics formally. Engineering, not physics degree. $\endgroup$ Nov 18, 2021 at 21:36

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