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Quantum Levitation Will Blow Your Mind

Scientists use superconductors and magnets to make magic

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Quantum Levitation Will Blow Your Mind
[ Technology]

Let me preface this by dispelling any thought that you might have that I know anything about the quantum physics that makes all of this possible:

I don’t know anything about the Quantum physics that makes this possible.

But I do know something amazing when I see it. And this, my friends, kicks ass.

This demonstration video, courtesy of the Tel-Aviv University and the Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC), has been making the viral rounds today. In saying that, I mean that I’ve seen dozens of social media shares of the video and it has been sitting on the front page of Reddit all day. Once you see it, you’ll see why.

The demonstration is in something called Quantum Levitation, a phenomenon that results from the fact that superconductors and magnets tend to not like each other.

They start with a crystal “wafer” and coat it with a thin layer of a ceramic material called yttrium barium copper oxide. The thing about that material is that it has no awesome properties on its own – but once you cool it to below -185 degrees Celsius, it becomes a superconductor. So they drop it in liquid nitrogen and there you have it. Here’s where I’ll let the real scientists take over:

Superconductivity and magnetic field do not like each other. When possible, the superconductor will expel all the magnetic field from inside. This is the Meissner effect. In our case, since the superconductor is extremely thin, the magnetic field DOES penetrates. However, it does that in discrete quantities (this is quantum physics after all! ) called flux tubes.

Inside each magnetic flux tube superconductivity is locally destroyed. The superconductor will try to keep the magnetic tubes pinned in weak areas (e.g. grain boundaries). Any spatial movement of the superconductor will cause the flux tubes to move. In order to prevent that the superconductor remains “trapped” in midair.

The term they keep using is “locked in space.” And once you see it move and tilt, you’ll see why –

Here’s a little more in-depth demonstration of the levitation. Look for the dual-levitation at the end for full mind-blowing effect:

Courtesy of Geekologie, here’s a video of what looks to be the same technology, implemented into a hoverboard that can support a human being –

Yeah science!

They say that they are “dedicated to making the amazing physics of superconductors accessible and exciting for young adults through the unique and counter-intuitive phenomena of ‘quantum trapping’ and ‘quantum levitation.”

Can you say holiday wishlist?

Quantum Levitation Will Blow Your Mind
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  • http://www.hce-uk.com Medical Equipment

    The Future!

  • http://www.FreeGunInfo.com Steven

    I’m wondering how big of a unit it would take to lift 1,000 lbs.? I could see this immediately being used for warehouses where instead of large forklifts being used, people could push pallets around with ease.

  • carlincoln

    Did Leedskalnin discover this on a larger scale when he built Coral Castle? He died in 1952 taking is secret with him. perhaps the pyramid builders used the same technique.

  • carlincoln

    The Incredible Mystery
    Of Coral Castle
    By Christopher Dunn
    From Atlantis Rising
    7-14-3

  • http://www.modeltrainhobbyist.com/christmas.html Lionel Bachmann | Christmas Trains

    Simply amazing! It would be nice to see how this can be used in practical working or transportation environments. I think the hardest thing would be to try and keep the superconductor at the extremely cold temperature.

    • Jerry

      I have read articles about some materials that are superconductive at higher temperatures.

      • Joey

        i just read some on it too. theoretically, if certain objects are superconductive at high temps, then one of these hoverboards could run on the heat itself generates. suppose, a car. yes, we’re a far ways off from being able to levitate and lock in space that much weight, but people like comfort in cars. most utilities in cars would generate heat, and could power the car by itself. imagine that. self-powered cars.

  • nonyabidness

    fuckin magnets, how do they work?

  • http://www.hubspan.com/ Ronald

    That is amazing! I’ve been waiting for my hover board that back to the future promised. How long do you think until we can get this to work off of the earths own magnetic field?

  • http://www.amecoat.com.au Druid

    The use of cryogenics can alow big structures to levitate such as aircraft on a VTOL simple and cheap
    But the military will be the first to ask……..