Monday, July 2, 2012

Boaz Almog uses quantum physics to levitate and trap objects in midair. Call it "quantum levitation."

This is cool! (pardon the liquid nitrogen pun)

TED description:
How can a super-thin, three-inch disk levitate something 70,000 times its own weight? In a riveting, futuristic demonstration, Boaz Almog shows how a phenomenon known as quantum locking allows a superconductor disk to float over a magnetic rail -- completely frictionlessly and with zero energy loss.

In October 2011, Boaz Almog demonstrated how a superconducting disk can be trapped in a surrounding magnetic field to levitate above it, a phenomenon called “quantum levitation.” This demonstration, seemingly taken from a sci-fi movie, is the result of many years of R&D on high-quality superconductors. By using exceptional superconductors cooled in liquid nitrogen, Almog and his colleague Mishael Azoulay at the superconductivity group at Tel Aviv University (lead by Prof. Guy Deutscher) were able to demonstrate a quantum effect that, although well known to physicists worldwide, had never been seen and demonstrated in such a compelling way.

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