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Quantum levitation = hoverboards?

by Liam McClure

The future is here! Well the future for any fans of Back To The Future 2 is here. After watching that film it was scientifically proven that 99.999999% of people wanted to own a hover board and would, in fact, sell an elderly relative to get one.

Well recent developments in the world of physics has led to a group from the Tel-Aviv University working on quantum levitation.

To make this gravity-defying marvel possible, researchers in a team led by Tel Aviv University physicist Guy Deutscher began by taking a single crystal wafer of sapphire — the familiar gem — and coated it with an extremely thin layer of a ceramic material.

“The ceramic layer has no interesting magnetic or electrical properties at room temperature,” the team explains on a dedicated website. “However, when cooled below -185 degrees Centigrade (-301 degrees Fahrenheit) the material becomes a superconductor It conducts electricity without resistance, with no energy loss. Zero.”

So due to the fact that it has to be cooled down before it becomes a superconductor it would not work on our planet ……..Damn it! but with people looking in this direction it will not be long before someone works out how to make quantum levitation a regular part of daily life, flying cars are just a matter of time.

Well perhaps not flying cars but the application of this in precooled environments such as space could lead to the development of frictionless travel, similar to that already used in the maglev trains which run on magnets allowing zero friction.

Quantum levitation has a long way to go until it could be considered really useful but it shows that people are looking at new ways of developing travel and that there is still a bit of magic surrounding physics.

What would you like to see developed from the movies into a functional everyday item? Let us know in the comments.

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