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Quantum Levitation

Quantum Levitation

This year’s World Science Festival in Brooklyn featured an exhibition of quantum levitation at work, objects hovering over one another. The exhibition by Boaz Almog, inventor and physicist at Tel Aviv University, featured silver wafers hovering  in circles above a circular surface.

Quantum levitation is based on what is known as the Meissner Effect, that material will expel magnetic fields from its interior if it becomes a superconductor. Almog’s ultra-thin sapphire wafers were coated with yttrium barium copper oxide, a material that becomes superconductive when cooled to -301°F. To achieve this temperature he had liquid nitrogen on hand. By then placing these discs over a magnet, the levitation effect occurs.

This technology on a larger scale is especially of interest for future developments in travel, the next generation (beyond the maglev) of smooth, safe, and fast vehicles running on a magnetic track.

Source: Popular Science

Photo: ~ Mike Bell ~ / flickr

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