Micro Life Zone
Asked by pnemonoultramicroscopicsillicovolcanoconiosis to Arti, Chris, Dustin, James, Steven on 19 May 2012.
Keywords: cars, levitating, levitation, quantum
Not sure what you mean by quantum levitation. Please explain.
Quantum levitation, or quantum locking (flux pinning), works by using a very thin superconductor, rather than the thicker superconductors you have probably seen in other experiments. Because it is so thin, the magnetic field rather than avoiding the superconductor penetrates it where there are defects in the molecular structure. The penetration creates ‘flux tubes’ which essentially lock the superconductor in place.
As for using it for levitating cars, well the problem with it, as with other superconductors, is the extremely low temperatures required to make the phenomenon work.
I first heard about it when I saw this video last year.
The super cooling of the magnets is the problem. If you could devise a way to make the roads as cold as liquid nitrogen all the time then you might be able to d it. I suspect their will be easier ways to float a car though.
Interesting question. Totally out of my field but nice to learn something new.
I agree with James and Dustin, having to have magnets supercooled all the time is certainly going to make it difficult to mass produce levitating cars that work like this. Flux pinning could maybe be used to assemble things like telescopes in the future, or to dock things together. So maybe one day we could have docking systems like they have in Star Trek!
Yeah Dustin that is the exact video I saw, you should have a look Steven
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