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Quantum Levitation Answered

Wow, just in time for The Mad Science Fair- an awesome magnetic levitation set-up.

The Superconductivity Group at Tel Aviv University have been working on thin-films of superconductive materials and have found some...cool effects. 

The thin films will apparently have a few defects, resulting in very specific areas where the magnetic field permeates.  This rigidly constrains the composite, allowing even "up-side down" levitation! (locked in space, beneath a magnet.)  Would be so awesome to play around with but apparently the deposition of the superconductive film is a real challenge, not to mention the sapphire substrate.

A forum post at HI Capacity had these links, probably after a member saw Gizmodo's article "What the Hell Magnets? Why Are You So Amazing?"

Via youtube:

ASTCvideos Quantum Levitation


5 Replies

BigDrig (author)2011-10-18

I actually saw this article right as it was published. This holds so much potential for the scientific community! I just about fell out of my chair with amazement. I'd love to see more on this!

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CrLz (author)BigDrig2011-10-18

I guess this is how R-Type weapons would be made to hover around.

Science fiction becoming science-fact. Glad to see research is not falling behind video games!

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CrLz (author)CrLz2011-10-18

Would be fun to replace the permanent magnets with a electromagnet setup:

Since mag-flux must remain at fixed value, adjust the eMagnet strength should move the superconductor towards/away.

Imagine rotating fields, oscillating fields, etc. You've got a touchless drive...

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PaulMakesThings (author)CrLz2011-10-22

I think you might be misunderstanding the effect. I think changing the strength of the magnetic field would change how much force it takes to move the object from it's "locked" position.

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CrLz (author)PaulMakesThings2011-11-02

possibly, as I haven't read any papers regarding the effect. The group's website has some manuscripts about making the thin films, which is the main technical feat.

That said, look at what happens when the permanent magnets are rotated- the disk is forced to follow [1st video, 0:23 to 0:30 sec]. Perhaps the permanent magnets could be replaced with an electromagnet assembly that could be adjusted to "turn" the electric field (similar to a CRT's beam control).

Avoiding confusion: replace with a 3D tunable electromagnet array, and alter effective magnetic field to rotate spatial orientation, strength, (periodically repeat either as oscillations)... This is what I think would move the disk around (sorry my post was misleading in this respect). Magnetic field control in space & time & intensity is very doable, MRI scanners are a good example of such field control.

I think increasing / decreasing field strength while maintaining spatial orientation should move the disk away / towards, similar to when the extra magnets are added on the circular rail [2nd video, 3:04 to 3:23].

All of these effects reminding me of R-Type... would be very fun to get a disk and experiment!

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