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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Not very magical, still... » » Discovery News: Levitation Mystery Cracked in Lab (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

MichaelKent
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From http://dsc.discovery.com/news/2007/08/06......chnology

Quote:
Aug. 6, 2007 — Scientists have discovered a ground-breaking way of levitating ultra small objects, which may revolutionize the design of micro-machines, a new report says.

Physicists said they can create "incredible levitation effects" by manipulating so-called Casimir force, which normally causes objects to stick together by quantum force.

The phenomenon could be used to improve the performances of everyday devices ranging from car airbags to computer chips, say Professor Ulf Leonhardt and Thomas Philbin from Saint Andrews University.

Casimir force — discovered in 1948 and first measured in 1997 — can be seen in a gecko's ability to stick to a surface with just one toe.

Now the British scientists say they can reverse the Casimir force to cause an object to repel rather than attract another in a vacuum.

"The Casimir force is the ultimate cause of friction in the nano world, in particular in some micro-electromechanical systems," said Leonhardt.

"Micro or nano machines could run smoother and with less or no friction at all if one can manipulate the force," he added.

And he added: "In order to reduce friction in the nanoworld, turning nature's stickiness into repulsion could be the ultimate remedy. Instead of sticking together, parts of micromachinery would levitate."

Leonhardt stressed that the practice is possible only for micro-objects.

But he underlined that, although in principle it may one day be possible to levitate humans, that day is a long way off.

"At the moment, in practice it is only going to be possible for micro-objects with the current technology, since this quantum force is small and acts only at short ranges," he said.

"For now, human levitation remains the subject of cartoons, fairy tales and tales of the paranormal."

Their research was to be published in the New Journal of Physics.


Video Here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f3A4CRoQA3A
emanmagic5
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Wow cool!

Thanks for that!
Doug Higley
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From little Acorns...


Hi Michael! How you been?
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Jonathan Townsend
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What specifically does an unproved theoretical phenomenon which exists on the submicroscopic scale have to do with the levitation of people or cars etc?
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Doug Higley
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What a peculiar question...
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Bill Nuvo
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Well it is Jonathan...
Jonathan Townsend
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Reading is fundamental: http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/print/9747

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn12......pet.html


How do you expect a force that varies inversly with the FOURTH POWER of the distance to be useful to macroscopic levitations?

And meta-materials... gee that went nowhere fast last year. The blind floating the silly?

I can see it may have potential in the microelectronics or control mechanics for the standard mechanics but not so much as a direct replacement for things which take strain on the order of foot-lbs.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Doug Higley
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This is 'Not Very magical'...and who ever said macroscopic ? Or People or cars?

Nice avatar..you are human.
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kregg
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Subatomic particles have their way with scientific theories, in, on, around or through. Smile
POOF!
Psy-Kosh
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I'm curious as to how this would work. From what I understand, whatever this mysterious hypothetical lens does, it would have to effectively produce a result such that as the planes approach each other, the vacume energy density between them increases instead of decreases.
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