Electromagnet for Attracting Copper, Aluminum and Non-Ferrous Metals like GOLD!
Yes, vary the frequency and measure the force response. A spectrum is easier to use and understand. There should be specific resonances for each kind and shape of material. Electric and magnetic polarization studies of materials have been tried since earliest days, but have a new start because of low cost Arduino and control systems. The drone and stepper motor controllers can be adapted.
Anything with inductance or conductivity also has characteristic decay times, so those can accept forces. Try varying the magnetic field for different alignments with the electric and magnetic fields you produce. For reading, look at “near field’ methods, and for very small wavelengths “radiation” or “far field” methods. It is pretty messy, but if you concentrate on measuring the forces and movements, as you make specific changes to controls and fields, you can at least store the data and try to make sense of it. Share the data and keep improving algorithms that help you design better and better field mediated forces.
The 3D acoustic levitation groups are slightly ahead right now. They can move things in 3D in precise planned “orbits” and pathways. They have not really got spin and orientation of the objects moved down. I think the electromagnetic levitation groups do that better. That is partly because magnetic fields have been used to move things for a long time. Just not by field alone. The phase controls for slow careful movements need to be precise. And you need to be able to measure small movement precisely to slowly improve the control algorithms. Interferometers are not too expensive, but those cheap camera microscopes work pretty well for getting started. The Raspberry Pi cameras can take up to a 1000 frames per second, but more and more cameras can do “regions of interest” (small areas) at faster frame rates. I have seen some that are supposed to do 200,000 frames per second. The reason for something like that is, if you use a 20 kHz pulse signal to send the force, then you need to be able to watch if you are matching the objects resonant frequencies. If you know how to use an SDR, they can digitize at 2.5 to 100 Megasamples per second, and do up to 2^22 points per FFT. You don’t need that to get the spectrum of the movements as a function of the spectrum of the activating field – but it is nice to have an upside, when you don’t know how far this can go.
Measure,. measure, measure.. Share, collaborate, create visualizations of the data. Calculate the precise movements. Don’t say “it moves”. Say, it moves by 1.342 microns at 23.22 Hertz. Or share the FFTs (Fast Fourier Transforms)
Copper and conductors are all diamagnetic. They can also have paramagnetic, ferroelectric and other responses to fields. But electrons move away from regions of high magnetic energy density. A magnetic gradient can push anything that has moving electrons. Free electrons. If you find some small metal rings and put them in resin, that might be a good proxy for the atomic things. In general if you use magnetic spheres, or conducting nanoparticles. We don’t have a name for microparticles because people are proud of “nano”. But micron sized dust is fine. I noticed that diamond dust is for sale at 60,000 grit. That is 0.5 micron. Here is a link to explain grit sizes. There are LOTS of conducting and magnetic particles. It is easier to lock into them, than to try to get all the way down to atoms and molecules in your first experiments. And staying at macro scale (centimeters and inches and millimeters) without measurements is going to be a LONG process.