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A Step Forward for Levitation



The Hover Skateboard in Back to the Future Part II [imdb] could be a viable gadget in a future by this discovery. But perhaps a better and more feasible application are faster, cheaper and more powerful maglevs all over the planet:

Professor Ulf Leonhardt and Dr Thomas Philbin, from the University of St Andrews in Scotland, have worked out a way of reversing this pheneomenon, known as the Casimir force [wiki], so that it repels instead of attracts.

Their discovery could ultimately lead to frictionless micro-machines with moving parts that levitate But they say that, in principle at least, the same effect could be used to levitate bigger objects too, even a person.


Link - via Oh Gizmo!

I seriously doubt this will be feasible in a macroscale. Quantum Mechanical effects are in general not possible to replicate in a macroscale. Altough as they do point out, with further research it might turn out to be useful for something.

In the meantime, I'm holding on to my skateboard with wheels...
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