Gallery: Amazing Quantum Levitation Technology Could Open the Door to F...

 

Levitation isn’t just for Houdini anymore. A team of researchers at Tel-Aviv University has discovered a way to make objects float in mid-air using a process called quantum levitation, and they think the tech could even lead to floating alternatives to traditional gas powered vehicles. Their demonstration, which involves using a single sapphire wafer (yes sapphire as in Princess Kate’s ring) coated with a thin later of a material called yttrium barium copper oxide recently wowed the crowds at the recent Association of Science-Technoloy Centers (ASTC) Annual Conference. The liquid nitrogen used to freeze the disc even gives off a cool mist that makes the experiment look all the more exciting.

The finding was based on the relationship between superconductors and magnets, which hate each other and repel instantly. Since the particular superconductor they used was extremely thin, magnetic waves penetrate the sapphire through weak spots called flux tubes. The tubes are locked inside in the superconductor, allowing it to float, rotate, and even move around in mid-air.

While this sort of technology is in its beginning stages, people are already thinking of how to apply it. Could floating cars finally be in our near future?

+ Quantum Levitation

+ ASTC

Via dvice

images via Quantum Levitation

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11 Comments

  1. Zachary Maneja June 17, 2014 at 6:49 pm

    I think I found a way to make a hoverboard(floating skateboard that has many capabilities) with this. I`m 14, I`ve been working on this for a year now and I`m almost at the door of a new generation. I was hoping to get some help from a company with the build but I`m still in the middle of research and learning. I will keep working on this and not stop because I do it for science and for my love of it. Please let me know what you have to say about this.

  2. paiw5y8s August 27, 2013 at 11:53 am

    Subject: Floating Vehicles,

    Once you get moving, how do you purpose to stop?

    Have you tried a mental approach yet!

  3. niharn56 September 4, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    its very interesting project..can u mail me the full details about it??

  4. stevester8308 October 27, 2011 at 3:41 pm

    Id love to be about in 200 years when this is being used to power our transport .

  5. gletscher October 24, 2011 at 3:39 am

    It’s not the youtube video on the frontpage but the one in the download section, or here: http://www.ifw-dresden.de/offers/downloads/videos/supratrans2.wmv

  6. Gletscher October 24, 2011 at 3:33 am

    Yeah they figured out that viral video part alright, while german engineers figured out how to build the real world vehicle: http://www.supratrans.de check out the video in the media section, given they could work on their viral marketing skills…

  7. arise October 23, 2011 at 10:15 pm

    Put the yttrium copper barium oxide inside some kind of ferrous mercury base, inside a hollow torus. Super-cool the contents and position 30 ring-shaped magnets around the torus. Fire the magnets in sequence around the torus to rotate the mass. I’m talking fast, like 50-70,000rpm. Wouldn’t any structure attached to the torus levitate with it?

  8. GrizzlyPaw October 22, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    Floating vehicles already exists.
    See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maglev

  9. Chicken nuggets October 20, 2011 at 12:53 pm

    Near future?

    This idea isn’t new, it could already be done with the yttrium copper barium oxide magnet.

    Also the minor implication with using temperatures below the curie temperature (around -180°C in this case)means it’s probably not as “near future” as time travel.

  10. Charli October 20, 2011 at 9:34 am

    The only thing these researchers at Tel Aviv University have “discovered” is how to create a viral video out of a known phenomenon. Research on superconducter levitation has been ongoing since at least Walther Meissner’s work in the 1930′s and there are numerous other youtube videos showing this exact quantum locking phenomenon going back about 10 years. In order for this technology to be applied to floating cars, we would have to magnetize all roadways and find a way to build our vehicles out of superconducters while cooling them to near absolute zero. Not exactly practical…

  11. Spaceman Kermit October 19, 2011 at 3:49 pm

    This is definitely a cool, and a step up from standard superconductors, but unless they figure out a way to magnetize our highways, cars aren’t going to float using this technology.

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