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Researchers Demonstrate Quantum Levitation

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the floating-around dept.

Transportation 133

UnknownSoldier writes "Wired reports that researchers at Tel Aviv University have discovered you can 'lock' a magnetic field into place with a superconductor. They have a very cool demonstration of a frozen puck and some of the neat things you can do with it while its orientation remains locked but its location is movable. Might we someday see high speed trains that will be 'impossible' to tip over, or a new generation of batteries with this technology?"

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Hoverboard (3, Insightful)

The Joe Kewl (532609) | more than 2 years ago | (#37765530)

Awesome!
WHEN Can I order my Hoverboard?!?!?!

Re:Hoverboard (3, Funny)

Wonko the Sane (25252) | more than 2 years ago | (#37765556)

Looks like a case of cold feet.

Re:Hoverboard (1)

jhoegl (638955) | more than 2 years ago | (#37765882)

Although the logistical problems ran through my mind on how one can implement this real world, it is still freakin cool!

Re:Hoverboard (0)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#37766220)

Although the logistical problems ran through my mind on how one can implement this real world, it is still freakin cool!

Yeah, real cool. Liquid Nitrogen cool.

Re:Hoverboard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37766714)

Cold feet? For levitation, that's a small price to pay!

Now to get a solid body made out of yttrium barium copper oxide..

Re:Hoverboard (1)

Coren22 (1625475) | more than 2 years ago | (#37765558)

Agreed, though it seems like this thing is a little too easy to "unlock". How would you build a train when a small nudge can make it change alignment?

Re:Hoverboard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37765618)

Yeah never could put something like wheels with sensors in them to stabilize it.

Re:Hoverboard (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 2 years ago | (#37768018)

This is a MAGNETIC means of transport.

You wouldn't have wheels.

Re:Hoverboard (2)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 2 years ago | (#37765658)

Agreed, though it seems like this thing is a little too easy to "unlock". How would you build a train when a small nudge can make it change alignment?

It's not clear how much force he was using to change the orientation of the puck, but since the puck can support itself while upside down, its appears to exert at least as much force as it takes to support the weight of the puck. So a 100 ton train may require 100 tons of force to lift it from the track.

From the demo, it's hard to see if it would have enough force to keep the train on the track, or if the pucks would have to surround the track to keep the train centered -- like conventional maglev trains. (or wheels as a backup if its a rare case when the train does stray from center)

Re:Hoverboard (2)

Riceballsan (816702) | more than 2 years ago | (#37765672)

Well flicking your finger will deal enough force to unlock anything in that scale from that demonstration, By the same logic real trains are subject do danger of a medium sized bird lifting them off of the tracks. The question isn't how easy is it to change the alignment on a air hockey puck sized object. The question is how it will scale when you are working with a multi ton train.

Re:Hoverboard (1)

Coren22 (1625475) | more than 2 years ago | (#37765728)

Along those lines, how many tons of superconductor does it take to support a many ton train.

Re:Hoverboard (2)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 2 years ago | (#37765960)

42.

No. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37765752)

It would take more force to dislodge these trains than those held on rails by gravity. See for yourself. [slashdot.org]

Stupid Slashdot link processing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37765886)

after you sign the 200 page disclaimer forum (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#37765596)

saying that you can not sue if you get hurt.

Re:Hoverboard (1)

otaku244 (1804244) | more than 2 years ago | (#37766584)

not till 2015
Wait... that was the shoes

Finally... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37765532)

Give me my HoverBoard!

I don't think this is new? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37765554)

This isn't new is it? It's a very cool demonstration, but unless I'm mistaken they didn't discover this--the actual article doesn't say it was a new discovery and I'm fairly sure my physics teacher showed me this a year or two ago. It is really cool, and the physics behind how it works is very interesting. It's pretty accessible too, don't be discouraged from reading up on it because you think it will be too hard to understand.

Re:I don't think this is new? (2, Informative)

Carnildo (712617) | more than 2 years ago | (#37765766)

Looks to me like a demonstration of the Meissner effect [wikipedia.org] , something that was discovered in 1933.

Re:I don't think this is new? (1)

xTantrum (919048) | more than 2 years ago | (#37766670)

It isn't. Old Tech with a new name and twist. This all has to do not necessarily with the quantum properties, but more to do with matter being super cooled [topdocumentaryfilms.com] . For some reason matter behaves differently as it approaches absolute zero. This is similiar to the Bose-Einstein condensate [wikipedia.org] and the Meissner effect as linked above.

although it is practical in the lab and in theory, there are still problems that occur when scaling it up. Like how to keep the track cooled for example. Its still a ways off.

Re:I don't think this is new? (1)

7-Vodka (195504) | more than 2 years ago | (#37766818)

So WHY has nobody yet made a room with a cooled superconducting floor and went in wearing magnetic boots? WHY?

Re:I don't think this is new? (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 2 years ago | (#37768060)

Well, unless I'm mistaken, *YOU* need to be wearing the cooled superconductor, for one.

Not the Meissner effect (5, Informative)

JoshuaZ (1134087) | more than 2 years ago | (#37766766)

This is not the Meissner effect! If it were you wouldn't be able to do the stunt where they move the disk to a different angle and it stays there. This is more subtle. The Meissner effect involves superconductors not letting magnetic field lines pass through the superconductor. This involves special superconductors that allow magnetic field lines to pass through but make the field lines get trapped in imperfections in the superconductor. The name of this effect is "flux pinning" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flux_pinning [wikipedia.org] . Here is the website of the group who made this video where they explain it http://www.quantumlevitation.com/levitation/Quantum_Levitation.html [quantumlevitation.com]

Re:I don't think this is new? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37766846)

The Meissner effect is just the expulsion of magnetic fields when gaining diamagnetic properties during transition to superconducting state, IIRC. That just makes the superconductor repel magnets. The "quantum locking" effect the guy is talking about -- what keeps the puck suspended and prevents it from flying away from the magnet -- has a different name, flux pinning [wikipedia.org] and only occurs in Type II superconductors.

No, this isn't new at all. Though perhaps the compound they are using may be... unless they just set up the demo for generic educational purposes.

Re:I don't think this is new? (1)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | more than 2 years ago | (#37765894)

Not exactly new, but it is an application of the physics behind the Meissner effect. Something that aside from floating a cube above a dish of liquid nitrogen I've not really heard of anyone bothering with, or at least demonstrating in such a jaw dropping manner.

Re:I don't think this is new? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37766206)

Does Meissner effect lock things to the magnetic field or does it merely make them float in the air?

Re:I don't think this is new? (1)

Frenzied Apathy (2473340) | more than 2 years ago | (#37765972)

Read the comments in the linked Wired article. You're right. Not technology/discovery, but just a new application of existing knowledge.

Re:I don't think this is new? (1)

tmosley (996283) | more than 2 years ago | (#37766236)

Yeah, we made these in physical chemistry lab 7 years ago. Not really a big deal.

Midnight train tipping. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37765560)

When has train tipping been a major problem? All those pesky teenagers I tell you - bored and at it again!

Re:Midnight train tipping. (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#37765844)

When has train tipping been a major problem?

Well, all the time. Clay/sandy soil and washouts due to spring thaws, extremely severe thunderstorms where you get 3 inches of rain per hour, hurricanes... Even just plain old poor maintenance.

Re:Midnight train tipping. (1)

Wonko the Sane (25252) | more than 2 years ago | (#37766066)

So how is flux pinning going to stop the train from tipping over if the base that holds the magnets tips over due to the soil supporting it becoming unstable?

Re:Midnight train tipping. (1)

_0xd0ad (1974778) | more than 2 years ago | (#37766332)

With the older demos, the train would tip over if the track tipped. In fact, it stayed in exactly the same orientation to the track no matter what, so if you flipped the track upside-down the train would be hovering upside-down too. That's not exactly ideal.

This demo, OTOH, showed that they could set any orientation they wanted between the puck and the track it rode on, and change it at will. Maybe your track has slanted sideways and you don't want the train tilting at that angle?

Now if they can come up with a better way to change its angle that doesn't involve "stop the train, get out, and push"... ideally, you'd want the train to stay upright, even if the track under it tilted, and do so automatically as soon as it detected a change in angle.

Re:Midnight train tipping. (2)

Lithdren (605362) | more than 2 years ago | (#37766342)

Clearly you support the magnets with magnets below. Then when the soil gives out it'll float in place. For extra security, secure the second layer with a third layer of magnets.

Turtles, turtles all way down!

Re:Midnight train tipping. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37767094)

Whoosh [wikipedia.org]

SUPERCONDUCTOR (5, Informative)

gygy (1182865) | more than 2 years ago | (#37765578)

SUPERCONDUCTOR not semiconductor !

dumbing down of slashdot (0)

doug141 (863552) | more than 2 years ago | (#37765694)

Seriously. Meissner effect is old news, too. I mentioned to a friend how slashdot seemed to have gotten really dumbed down in the last year, and he made an interesting connection: ipads became popular.

Re:dumbing down of slashdot (0)

Coren22 (1625475) | more than 2 years ago | (#37765740)

Is Slashdot.org a default bookmark on iPads? That would make the dumbing down make much more sense.

And why would it make sense? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37766228)

Try for an enlightened answer.

Re:dumbing down of slashdot (3, Informative)

Tinctorius (1529849) | more than 2 years ago | (#37765754)

This is flux pinning, and apparently, is a different phenomenon than the Meissner effect.

Re:dumbing down of slashdot (3, Informative)

robotkid (681905) | more than 2 years ago | (#37766500)

This is flux pinning, and apparently, is a different phenomenon than the Meissner effect.

Yes, but this was already well known in the late 1980's when type II superconductors hit center stage in the solid-state physics world. And 30 seconds later every single person in the field thought "hey, we could SOOO build a sweet maglev train with this". But it's still not practical by any stretch of the imagination except as a neat toy.

So /. is only 20+ years late instead of ~80 years with the Meissner effect.

Re:SUPERCONDUCTOR (1)

tmosley (996283) | more than 2 years ago | (#37766294)

Yeah, a semiconductor is what you get when Gustav Mahler sleeps on the train tracks.

SWEET! (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#37765588)

Where can I buy this desk toy set?

Old news (like 1980 old) (3, Interesting)

genjix (959457) | more than 2 years ago | (#37765612)

This has been around since the time of Carl Sagan. For a much better explanation of what is happening (and the science behind it), see this video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TeS_U9qFg7Y&feature=player_embedded [youtube.com]

They haven't invented anything new so don't get excited about wipeout ships and hoverboards just yet. The problem is the immense amount of energy to keep the superconductor cooled.

Re:Old news (like 1980 old) (2)

Wonko the Sane (25252) | more than 2 years ago | (#37765652)

Did they have superconductors that worked at liquid nitrogen temperatures in 1980? The amount of energy needed to keep nitrogen liquid is significantly less than what it takes to keep helium liquid.

Re:Old news (like 1980 old) (2)

pz (113803) | more than 2 years ago | (#37766396)

Um, it's pretty easy to check. Wikipedia shows the first high Tc discovery was in 1986. I remember it well, as I was dating a physicist at the time.

Re:Old news (like 1980 old) (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37766782)

I remember it well, as I was dating a physicist at the time.

please become a meme, please become a meme...

Re:Old news (like 1980 old) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37765662)

I think the levitation is not what's new, but it's the locking of the position of the levitating object that is new.

Re:Old news (like 1980 old) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37765734)

Thanks for that post .. Its a great demo.

Re:Old news (like 1980 old) (1)

ruiner13 (527499) | more than 2 years ago | (#37765944)

I think the difference between the new video and the one you posted is that in the new video, the superconductor can be placed in any position and it will stay in that orientation, and can have its orientation changed manually at any time. Your video, I think they imply that the positioning is locked in during the cooling process, and cannot be changed until it warms and is cooled again. So, this aspect of the material seems new.

How do you make the mistake (2)

poity (465672) | more than 2 years ago | (#37765638)

of calling a superconductor a semiconductor?
WIRED, where do you get your reporters?
And /., where are you editors?

Re:How do you make the mistake (1)

UnknownSoldier (67820) | more than 2 years ago | (#37768080)

That's was my fault, not Wired's, for mixing up superconductor and semiconductor. That's what you get when you rush a submission when you first wake up :/

Sorry.

Totally wrong (1)

henryteighth (2488844) | more than 2 years ago | (#37765666)

Firstly it's a superconductor, not a semiconductor (as would have been obvious had the editor even bothered to glance at TFA). They're totally different things. Also, this is not news at all: it's a cool video, but again as TFA states it's just an example of the well-known Meissner effect.

Call it what it is! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37765688)

We already have a term for this technology: tractor beam.

So? (1)

Dr Bip (601304) | more than 2 years ago | (#37765692)

The simple error in the original post is trivial - it's a superconductor. And it demonstrates flux pinning. But this has been demonstrated ever since superconductors have been made with non-superconducting regions in them (ie, not elemental superconductors like Pb and Al). This is *not* news. Unless it is the mid 1980s and I've not noticed.

Re:So? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37767040)

Where are the examples of orientation locking in previous demonstrations?

It's very rare... (1)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | more than 2 years ago | (#37765714)

that I can say someone showed me something that makes my jaw drop. But this most certainly did. Wow, this absolutely floored me. Good work guys.

Re:It's very rare... (1)

tantaliz3 (1074234) | more than 2 years ago | (#37765786)

I agree! Daamn that's cool!

Re:It's very rare... (1)

l0ungeb0y (442022) | more than 2 years ago | (#37765912)

Well until we can come out with superconductors that can operate at room temperature, don't expect to see this applied anywhere else aside from the lab.
As others have pointed out, this is not new and has been around for over 20 years, the fact that it requires extremely cold temperatures has relegated it to a mere novelty as far as practical applications go.

/. Haters Gonna Hate (1, Offtopic)

cosm (1072588) | more than 2 years ago | (#37765720)

All technical typos and misleading whatever aside, and aside from all the hawking about how this has already existed or this is not new blah blah blah....THIS SHIT IS STILL FUCKING AMAZING. GET OVER YOURSELVES.

Re:/. Haters Gonna Hate (3, Informative)

Carnildo (712617) | more than 2 years ago | (#37765864)

The problem is not that this isn't amazing, it's that the Slashdot editors (and Wired) are presenting an 80-year-old discovery as something new -- and then describing it using the wrong terminology.

Re:/. Haters Gonna Hate (1)

cosm (1072588) | more than 2 years ago | (#37766084)

Very true, perhaps it's time for me to start weening off /., it gets tiring seeing so many cynical comments about the editing and misuse of terminology, and naturally those are not the fault of the commenters. Albeit /. does beat most all other news sites and the likes of Youtube in regards to the level of intelligence in its comment sections.

I guess I just can't tell if the rising cynicism here matches the degrading quality of editing.

Re:/. Haters Gonna Hate (3, Informative)

radtea (464814) | more than 2 years ago | (#37766174)

I guess I just can't tell if the rising cynicism here matches the degrading quality of editing.

They go hand in hand, in part because of the number of ignorant people responding to this story saying "WOW THAT IS SO AMAZING!", which just announces that they have somehow managed to preserve their ignorance of this effect for long enough to be old enough to post on /. but are still posting on /. It makes those of us who have an actual interest in science and technology feel like this isn't really the place we should be.

As well as presenting an 80-year-old effect that has been a stock benchtop demonstration for 20 years as something "new" and "exciting", the marketers (not scientists or engineers) behind this have added the word "quantum" to it, which is so obviously catering to the ignorant it is just sad. I've even seen this described as using "quantum superconductors", which nicely distinguishes them from all the classical superconductors out there...

Re:/. Haters Gonna Hate (1)

shadowofwind (1209890) | more than 2 years ago | (#37766336)

So where can a person go for real information and/or actual thinking on any topic? Even the best posters on /. appear to me to be mostly posturing, with nobody actually learning anything from the discussion.

Re:/. Haters Gonna Hate (1)

Frenzied Apathy (2473340) | more than 2 years ago | (#37766034)

All technical typos and misleading whatever aside, and aside from all the hawking about how this has already existed or this is not new blah blah blah....THIS SHIT IS STILL FUCKING AMAZING. GET OVER YOURSELVES.

YEAH! What he said!!!

Why?! (1)

M0j0_j0j0 (1250800) | more than 2 years ago | (#37765724)

Why the "quantum"???? can anybody explain?

Re:Why?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37765958)

It sounds cooler that way.
It really has nothing to do with quantum mechanics, it's the effects of a magnetic field on a superconductor.

Re:Why?! (3, Informative)

Carnildo (712617) | more than 2 years ago | (#37765992)

Using "quantum" in the description makes it sound like a cool new discovery, rather than simply a demonstration of magnetic levitation [wikipedia.org] using the Meissner effect [wikipedia.org] and flux pinning [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Why?! (1)

pclminion (145572) | more than 2 years ago | (#37766428)

Using "quantum" in the description makes it sound like a cool new discovery

I don't get this about people. Quantum mechanics was worked out at around the same time we were figuring out airplanes. I don't see people stopping dead in their tracks and staring slack-jawed into the sky whenever a jet flies overhead. But you can always baffle people by throwing a "quantum" in there.

Quantum means "comes in little chunks." OH MY GOD, THE WORLD COMES IN LITTLE CHUNKS?! THAT'S UTTERLY UNBELIEVABLE."

You guys need a brain update.

Re:Why?! (1)

Fauxbo (1393095) | more than 2 years ago | (#37767012)

Much like Jets, Quantum Mechanics are very interesting when up close and personal.

Seeing a Jet fly by 100 feet above your head will make me star slack-jawed into the sky, and think man that is big and flying... weird.

I do have a full understanding of the science behind flight and some of the science behind Quantum Mechanics (saying a full understanding would be lying, it's still freaky to think about)

Seeing this up close and personal is neat, that's all.

Re:Why?! (2)

amRadioHed (463061) | more than 2 years ago | (#37767264)

"I think I can safely say that nobody understands quantum mechanics." - Richard Feynman

There lies the difference. No reputable scientist would have said that about aircraft anytime in the last 75 years.

TFA is nothing new (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37765746)

This is just the same old demo of a levitating superconductor. By calling it "quantum levitation" instead of the more familiar "Meisner effect", you made me click. Well done, sirs. Well done. Except of course, that I'm using various ad-blocking techniques...

Re:TFA is nothing new (1)

Jeng (926980) | more than 2 years ago | (#37766014)

You do know that if you actually create an account you can have ads disabled.

I mean yea, I'm using an ad-blocker, but /. already doesn't serve ads to me.

Re:TFA is nothing new (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37766110)

I have a free account, but didn't consider that post worthy of potentially burning karma. Slashdot has offered me ad blocking, perhaps due to the age of my account and/or the karma status. It's a moot point, since the ad-blocking on my local box is enough to kill whatever it is they're serving.

Re:TFA is nothing new (1)

Jeng (926980) | more than 2 years ago | (#37766302)

but didn't consider that post worthy of potentially burning karma.

This has always puzzled me, why care what your karma status is? If your karma gets dinged, big freaking whooptydoo.

I tend to only go AC if I'm posting a question so stupid that I don't want it associated with me.

Re:TFA is nothing new (1)

Randle_Revar (229304) | more than 2 years ago | (#37766248)

Same here. I normally unblock ads on sites I like, but on /. they tend to more annoying than on most of my favorite sites, and they are often rather heavy as well. So I use the free ad removal, and I block, in case my karma falls too low for ad removal. Sometimes when I can afford it, I subscribe for a while as well.

Re:TFA is nothing new (1)

frith01 (1118539) | more than 2 years ago | (#37766400)

You missed the part in the video where they turn the track upside down. If they were only using the meisner effect, the puck would drop to the ground. They have found a way to control the magnetic field more precisely, and pin the object in place. ( ie, a useful example of the engineering techniques now possible with the effect, instead of just ooh, shiny. )

Better video. (5, Informative)

Ecuador (740021) | more than 2 years ago | (#37765758)

Try this longer video instead. [youtube.com] It has construction details, explanations, double levitation etc.

Also, "semiconductor"? Jeez, that is a lame mistake even by Slashdot standards!

not news... (1)

or_is_it (1123093) | more than 2 years ago | (#37765762)

this has been demonstrated before. now, would the entire track with puck locked in flux in a track weigh the same as the sum of the entire track + the puck not locked in flux in a track? if no, THAT would be news.

Engineering 101 (2)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#37765796)

Might someday we see high speed trains that will be 'impossible' to tip over

Yeah, because tipping over is the major concern with high speed trains. Who writes this stuff?

Re:Engineering 101 (1)

SyntheticTruth (17753) | more than 2 years ago | (#37766142)

Not CmdrTaco. Just sayin'.

Cooooool (1)

Botia (855350) | more than 2 years ago | (#37765842)

I love living in the future.

jewed (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37765888)

This type of cryogenic party trick have been around for decades.
Seems like everything out of Israel lately is some exaggerated claims of originality.
A few weeks ago the Israelis also "discovered" superconductivity might have applications to electric power transfer (actually covered on slashdot). Welcome to the 20th century guys.

Re:jewed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37766058)

Yeah, and a couple of weeks ago an Israeli won a Nobel prize. Big deal.

No trains or batteries, but (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37765908)

>Might someday we see high speed trains that will be 'impossible' to tip over or a new generation of batteries with this technology?"

No, but it will make for some spectacular hockey matches.

So 2007, See cute Model Train video (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37766022)

That whole train idea is so 2007:

YouTube.com IFW-Dresden Superconductor Maglev Train Model

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TeS_U9qFg7Y

Very poor reporting, misleading video.

Brand new quantum penis discovered (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37766090)

Works the exact as regular penis. Click me click me im content!

Tractor Beam (1)

NotPeteMcCabe (833508) | more than 2 years ago | (#37766092)

This is the first bit of science I've seen that could plausibly be turned into one of the staples of SciFi, the tractor beam. How long before they have one that can move the (levitating) puck at a distance?

What exactly did they discover? (1)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#37766102)

Superconductors have been there for ages. I remember being shown levitation like this in high school. The article doesn't seem to mention the actual discovery.

sad (1)

shadowofwind (1209890) | more than 2 years ago | (#37766256)

We did essentially this in my high school physics class in 1987.

Re:sad (1)

Dr. Spork (142693) | more than 2 years ago | (#37766378)

Excatly! Even the superconductor itself is YBCuO, which has been well known since 1986. It's the first "Type 2" superconductor to have been discovered. Back then things were going so fast that many people thought a room-temperature superconductor was going to be discovered within a reasonable amount of time. So it is indeed sad that 25 years later, we've basically made no real progress.

Frictionless rotation (1)

Commontwist (2452418) | more than 2 years ago | (#37766346)

Nice piece of non-physically driven motion (after initial nudge). No physical wear if the pieces don't touch each other.

If that puck were in a complete vacuum in a supercooled chamber I wonder how long that puck would rotate?

Did anyone even read the article? (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 2 years ago | (#37766436)

There are a ton of posts going on about how it's just the "Meissner effect", the researchers aren't claiming that is something new, they are claiming they have built the first track that uses the Meissner effect for levitation and can lock the magnetic field to angle the object.

"Researchers at the school of physics and astronomy at Tel Aviv University have created a track around which a superconductor can float, thanks to the phenomenon of “quantum levitation“.

This levitation effect is explained by the Meissner effect, which describes how, when a material makes the transition from its normal to its superconducting state, it actively excludes magnetic fields from its interior, leaving only a thin layer on its surface."

Re:Did anyone even read the article? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37766690)

So all the tons of postings about just the meissner effect are correct? Thanks. I thought they were too.

WipeOut! (1)

Taty'sEyes (2373326) | more than 2 years ago | (#37766452)

One step closer to being able to play WipeOut! for reals... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iHlHitIc7pY [youtube.com]

Re:WipeOut! (1)

ProzacPatient (915544) | more than 2 years ago | (#37767278)

or perhaps something [youtube.com] even worse

Aww..... late news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37766926)

Didn't they demo this in Kitchen science section of naked scientist, few months ago.

pretty basic nowadays (5, Informative)

Skylax (1129403) | more than 2 years ago | (#37767036)

every physics student gets a demonstration of this effect in his solid state physics lecture. But usually the superconductor is rather small and is put into a small matchbox type car to drive it around a track. Here they used a relatively large and bulky superconducting disk, so the orientation locking is more visible. Although not new, it never gets old and I'm always fascinated by it. Just don't use the word "discovery" here!

Old news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37767178)

Ok, so I saw this video on youtube a few days ago and noticed it on Wired yesterday. Now it's on Slashdot today. Is this what Slashdot has become? I used to come here to find out about new things I couldn't get elsewhere. Now, it seems that even science and computer related stories on Slashdot are old reposts from other social media sites. I have been reading Slashdot on an almost daily basis for a decade now and have to say that this walled garden of Slashdot isn't working anymore. Either up the standards, or open posting to more people. You can't continue to think that the appeal of mother Russia and Step 4 - Profit jokes are enough to keep people coming back to reread the shit they read on other sites yesterday or the day before.

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