- Amazing Technology
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." -Arthur C. Clarke
Ok, This is cool stuff. We're talking super conductive cool. The University of Tel-Aviv in Israel, has come up with a very interesting technology and, produced a viral video to go along with it. In case you haven't had an opportunity to see it, here's the quick run down.
They've coated a crystal sapphire disk with a superconductive material, and a layer of gold (for protection). The end result is that when cooled with liquid nitrogen, it displays some interesting properties called "Quantum Levitation" and "Quantum Trapping".
With no power source or trickery, the disk, will "lock into position" above a magnet... as in hover or float with no visible physical means of support, inches up in the air. Even more interesting is that the phenomenon can easily be manipulated, allowing the disk to be repositioned, and, it will hold whatever position (in air) that it is moved into. If there are multiple magnets, creating a continuous field, then it can travel along the magnetic field as though it were on rails, all the while holding the position it was placed in.
To blow ones mind even further, multiple disks won't interfere with one another. Meaning that two disks, can pass over each other on the same magnetic track, and not influence the trajectory of the other. They even step it up further, and flip the magnetic "rail" upside down, suspending the disk under it... and there it floats, still holding it's position. We've all seen electronic gizmos that do this with an electric magnet and a small sensor to vary the magnetic field depending on the distance of the floating object. This is completely different, there are no electronics of any kind, no carefully positioning the item under a magnet. They just put it there and it stays... They change the angle... and it stays where they left it.
But, you know what is just as amazing to me? It's that you and I can experiment with this phenomenon without millions of dollars in equipment. They will soon be selling demonstration kits (I've seen a few on line already) that will supply the disk. The only thing left are some magnets, liquid nitrogen, and an adventurous spirit. For the first time since the days of Alexander Graham Bell, the average motivated "tinkerer / inventor" can experiment in their garage with truly ground breaking, potentially world-changing technology.
I have so many questions! What happens when an electric magnet is introduced on the disk's side? How much weight can it support in relation to disk size or superconductive coating thickness?
What are the rules!!!! Normal physics don't apply here!
We've linked to several YouTube videos below that demonstrate the principal better than words alone ever could. Pay special attention to when the disk is repositioned on the track, and, to when multiple discs are running at the same time. Amazing!
As always, if you would like to make any comments, or point out any glaring errors, feel free to contact me here :-)