Thursday, October 20, 2011

Quantum Levitation - This Is Amazing!

It all starts when a single crystal sapphire wafer is coated with a thin (~1µm thick) ceramic material called yttrium barium copper oxide (YBa2Cu3O7-x ). In a normal state at room temperature, the ceramic layer has no interesting magnetic or electrical properties.  Everything changes once it is cooled below -185ºC (-301ºF).  At this temperature, the material becomes a superconductor, that is to say it conducts electricity without resistance, with no energy loss. That's right, NO energy loss at all!  This alone is amazing, but there's more...

Superconductivity and magnetic field do not coexist in time and space very well.  If possible, the superconductor will repel the magnetic field from inside. This is the Meissner effect.  

In the demonstration you are about to see below, since the superconductor is extremely thin, the magnetic field is able to penetrate the waffer.  However, it does that in discrete quantities called flux tubes.  
Inside each magnetic flux tube superconductivity is locally destroyed.  The superconductor will try to keep the magnetic tubes pinned in weak areas (e.g. grain boundaries). Any spatial movement of the superconductor will cause the flux tubes to move. In order to prevent that the superconductor remains “trapped” in midair. 

What you are about to see is fantastic, and has the potential to change the way we will live in the future.

This is amazing!


  1. Amazing!!!! I'l bet mirrors are involved somewhere too.

  2. that's all well and good but do we actually have the resources to go large scale with this as in making futuristic roads and cars out of this?? or imagine a suspended roller coaster using this