By Tuan Nguyen
Posting in Energy
The MagSurf skateboard let's you pull a Marty McFly, even if it's for a few seconds.
Last week, I posted a video that demonstrated a new levitating technology that took the concept to whole other level. Using a technique called quantum locking, it enabled a small object to stay locked in position while suspended in mid-air. Now researchers at Universite Paris Diderot in France have applied a similar technology to build an actual hoverboard.
[check out the quantum levitation video to see what I'm talking about]
Essentially, they turned a skateboard into a one big magnetic superconductor by icing it with super-cold liquid nitrogen. What this does is it creates an electromagnetic field that’s expelled from the inside, a phenomenon known as the Meissner effect. But since the MagSurf is much larger than the ultra-thin disc used in the previous demonstration, it can't do quantum locking. Nope. Not today. Not tomorrow. And, unfortunately, not any time soon. That's why you see the volunteers stretching their arms to balance themselves as they glide across the magnetic track.
- Related: Test drive: ‘Back to the Future’ DeLorean electric car [video]
- Related: Self-lacing ‘Back to the Future’ shoes coming 2015 [video]
Nevertheless, some researchers such as one group in Japan are working on scaling the technology to develop levitating trains. There are already Maglev trains operating in Europe, but they rely on electromagnetic suspension, which requires additional interventions to stay stable as it travels along the track. The beauty of superconducting levitation, as you can see, is that the repelling force automatically keeps the vehicle steady.
I'd go out out on a limb and it's doubtful superconducting hoverboards will ever take off. Presently that'll require stocking up on cases of liquid nitrogen, and last I've heard, there aren't any plans to retrofit streets or sidewalks with superconducting magnets.
For those of you who want to start making things levitate already, here's a little DIY video:
More mind-blogging tech videos:
- Objects levitate using spooky quantum trick [video]
- ‘Invisibility cloak’ device makes objects disappear [video]
- Robot solves Rubik’s cube in 5 seconds, sets world record [video]
- Unreal! Holographic objects you can pick up, play with [video]
More sci-fi tech:
- Video: Jetpack flies among the clouds, shatters all sorts of records
- Using a flying magic carpet to explore Mars [video]
- Is time travel possible?
- Video: Trees that grow into ‘living bridges’
Oct 25, 2011
Oh that's allright.. we Americans are just practicing for the day WE EAT YOU ALL!!! HAHAHAHAhahahahaa!
I wasnt even paying attention to that detail but since you mentioned it, yeah I did notice haha, brings a shame to America Once again hehe!!!. Americans Are getting fatter, beieve it or not. Gotta love the American Eating ways.
Did u notice how theres no FAT people of any age in the room? Is that just the weight limit for the hoverboard or another elusive french secret?