Mark Wyner’s journal

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I like to talk endlessly about anything related to soccer, the cosmos, and making our corner of it a better place to be, which may tickle your fancy.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Quantum Levitation

Quantum physics really gets me going. Especially how I (and many others) tie it into the manifestation of universal energy. And that’s precisely what the superconductivity group at Tel Aviv University are tapping into.

A team lead by Professor Guy Deutscher, a leading physicist in the field of superconductivity, is extending the work of Walther Meissner and Robert Ochsenfeld in what is known as the Meissner Effect, or “quantum trapping” and “quantum levitation.” The science behind this is far over my head, but the following video makes the result accessible for pretty much anyone.

What specifically attracted me to this video—other than the pure awesomeness of fixed levitation—is how this science could lead to a number of amazing inventions. And that’s where designers come into play. The right creative minds can harness this phenomenon of science and turn it into something useful.

The School of Humanities and Sciences at Ithica University are experimenting with creative ways to harness this power. They built a magnetic “race track” that resembles the electric race tracks I used as a child. Using a motor from a Hotwheels starter set they send a superconductor puck racing around the track suspended in mid air. The quantum trapping keeps the puck affixed to its position on the track as it races around.

This is all simply fascinating, and I look forward to seeing how creative minds will apply this science to something useful or, well, just fun. Hover cars, anyone?