In this brief video, quantum levitation is demonstrated — superconductivity trapped in quantum flux tubes. A more specific explanation and another video can be found on a site dedicated to the field:

A thin superconductor layer (~1µm thick) is coated on a sapphire wafer. Quantum physics tells us that the magnetic field penetrates into the superconductor in the form of discrete flux tubes. The superconductor strongly pins these tubes, causing  it to float in midair. This effect is called ‘quantum levitation’.

In this video, the locking phenomenon is nicely demonstrated using two different magnet configurations, and then a crude train track is used to show its potential in transportation.

As Jason Kottke puts it, “You can almost hear your tiny mind explode when the ‘train’ goes upside-down.”

Happy Friday!

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Kent Anderson

Kent Anderson

Kent Anderson is the CEO of RedLink and RedLink Network, a past-President of SSP, and the founder of the Scholarly Kitchen. He has worked as Publisher at AAAS/Science, CEO/Publisher of JBJS, Inc., a publishing executive at the Massachusetts Medical Society, Publishing Director of the New England Journal of Medicine, and Director of Medical Journals at the American Academy of Pediatrics. Opinions on social media or blogs are his own.


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