A compact magnetic bearing element for radial centering is described. At zero and low speeds, the centering occurs through mechanical contact of a rotating slotted pole structure with stretched metallic ribbons. At higher speeds, eddy currents induced in the metallic ribbons provide non-contacting centering forces. Exemplary uses for the invention are generally in rotating machinery and in flywheel energy storage systems.
STATEMENT REGARDING REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT
 The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. DE-AC52-07NA27344 between the U.S. Department of Energy and Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC, for the operation of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.