Quantum levitation demonstrated in viral video

By on October 18, 2011, 2:00 PM

A demonstration by Tel-Aviv University’s Superconductivity Group School of Physics and Astronomy shows quantum locking in action. The video was recorded at the Association of Science – Technology Centers Annual Conference and has already been viewed nearly 400,000 times in only two days.

The video was posted on YouTube on October 16 by ASTCvideos and shows a permanent magnet being used to levitate a thin superconductor layer in an effect called quantum levitation. In layman’s terms, the superconductor is so cold that it’s locking the magnetic field in three dimensions. The superconductor can seemingly “hover” in space and even move along a track freely because the magnetic field stays the same.

quantumleviation.com provides more information about the elements at play. The semiconductor (0.5micron) is coated with a sapphire crystal (500micron) layer, wrapped in plastic and chilled in liquid nitrogen. The end result is that the chilled wafer is essentially locked in space above the magnet.

This works because at a normal state (warm), the magnetic field is able to penetrate freely. Cooling creates quantum trapping and the magnetic field penetrates in the form of quantum flux tubes. The quantum flux tubes are pinned in defects, locking the superconductor in space and allowing frictionless movement.

It’s still way too early to determine just exactly how such a technology could be used commercially but it certainly looks promising.




User Comments: 42

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Tekkaraiden Tekkaraiden said:

That was really cool.

ikesmasher said:

That's one of the coolest things I've seen in a long time.

KG363 KG363 said:

Jaw is dropped

MaXtor MaXtor said:

Levitating urinal cakes, what else will they come up with?

Guest said:

Now that is cool!

Wendig0 Wendig0, TechSpot Paladin, said:

That's friggin amazing! Way to go Israel!

MilwaukeeMike said:

Quantum flex tubes! Of course! Why didn't I think of that?! The answer has been in front of me the whole time!

Curses!

thewind said:

Ya that was really really cool!

Staff
Per Hansson Per Hansson, TS Server Guru, said:

This is by far the coolest thing I have seen for a long time!

My jaw really did drop!

Guest said:

That's unreal ! Love it.

Looking forward to the highways of the future, where cars are free to levitate like this along

a magnetic road, while being powered by Tesla's wireless electricity, supplied by poles that run alongside it... All trips would be a breeze.

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Unbelievable. Definitely many applications for this, especially for transportation.

1977TA said:

Pretty amazing!

demonlord721 said:

I would be more excited for them had it been brand new, (its still neat but http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c3asSdngzLs)

H3llion H3llion, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Guest said:

That's unreal ! Love it.

Looking forward to the highways of the future, where cars are free to levitate like this along

a magnetic road, while being powered by Tesla's wireless electricity, supplied by poles that run alongside it... All trips would be a breeze.

When I was 10 I had this kind of idea, magnetic roads, magnetic shell of car = flying car... But I don't think the way forward would be by building magnetic roads :3

Not very cost effective and theoretically sounds unsafe, imagine having a metal necklace, you get of car and you get zapped to the road... Death-trap :X

Anyway this is fricking awesome, love it!

Wendig0 Wendig0, TechSpot Paladin, said:

This is very close to super conductive perpetual motion... Imagine generators running via perpetual motion = very cheap/free energy.

Guest said:

@Wendig0 - No, just no, that is wrong on so many levels.

lipe123 said:

It's not perpetual because you have to keep cooling the superconductor thats quite a lot of energy...

More importantly tho this could be the first step towards some kind of hover tech, would make sense that it should work with electromagnets also? You could wire up a whole road and only power the sections with "cars" over them to save power and still have great mobility.

Guest said:

Hover-boards!

Guest said:

This is just like all the other superconductor videos I've seen. Why is this one viral? It's nothing new. Superconductivity was discovered in 1911.

Night Hacker Night Hacker said:

maxtor, you made me laugh so hard, thanks for that comment! XD

Guest said:

EDWARD LEEDSKALNIN, if you haven't heard of this guy, look him up and all that you can find that relates...some real stuff going on here.

Guest said:

Commercial use? What about travel?

Butch said:

Very cool. Now if they can just figure out a way to do this without having to cool it down so much there would be a million practical uses for this...

PinothyJ said:

I cannot stop smiling!

...

chaboi390 said:

Very nice, but not possible in commercial use at this point in time, think about the energy requirement to just to cool the superconductor below its critical temperature...

The only use of this type of levitation are the MAGLEV's in China and Japan

Guest said:

This aint new tech... its using the meissner effect and has been around for along time....

Guest said:

Amazing super amazing astounding but what can we do with it? any practical ideas, and is it possible for anybody to make one maybe at home or something?

hellokitty[hk] hellokitty[hk], I'm a TechSpot Evangelist, said:

A somewhat big event, but is it newsworthy? As some people have pointed out, it's not at all new. I've seen it demonstrated in person myself.

Oh well, pretty cool anyway.

Guest said:

Today is hard to be impress by technology. But I'm impress.

Guest said:

Back to the Future hover board..

Guest said:

yea literally

Guest said:

This is why we need Israel...THEY'RE SMART

Guest said:

This is NOTHING NEW!!!

Guest said:

Was that jeff goldblum?

Guest said:

Rats - the secret of my surfboard is out!

Only I don't need roads lined with magnets - I can do it along the planet's flux lines...

(Signed: The Silver Surfer)

Guest said:

it isnt being levitated, its being locked, hence the reason he can set it at angles and upside down

Wendig0 Wendig0, TechSpot Paladin, said:

@Wendig0 - No, just no, that is wrong on so many levels.

Oh really? Which part? There was a time when people said the same thing about man walking on the Moon.

It's not perpetual because you have to keep cooling the superconductor thats quite a lot of energy...

More importantly tho this could be the first step towards some kind of hover tech, would make sense that it should work with electromagnets also? You could wire up a whole road and only power the sections with "cars" over them to save power and still have great mobility.

You will note that I said it was "close". I didn't say we were there yet.

There may come a time in the near future when someone takes these principles, and refines them to the point where supercooling is no longer required to stabilize the magnetic field. It could happen.

spydercanopus spydercanopus said:

This could make travel infinitely more energy efficient

Guest said:

Ahem - not "Quantum Levitation" at all. It's just a Super conductor. You cool them to their correct temperature (think just a few degrees above absolute 0), and magnetic lines wrap around them, instead of interacting with them - hence they "Levitate", or in this case, are supported by a structure of magnetic field lines.

This is nothing new - I did this in my Intro to Nano tech class just the other week, and I go WIT. When they figure out how to make a superconductor that operates at room temp, let me know.

Guest said:

and i thought back to the future was far off when they had hover/levitation technology in 2015. its finally becoming a reality

Guest said:

Are you guys for real? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meissner_effect

treetops treetops said:

its like the object is in space but must stay on the track, epic

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