Quantum levitation: the coolest kind!

This is amazing. Just had to post it.

Scientists at Tel Aviv University are working with super-cold quantum superconductors locked in a magnetic field. (As if I actually understand what that means.) They posted this video on YouTube on Sunday and have well over 2 million hits as I write this.

For an explanation of the physics behind this demonstration, check this out. Here’s Wired News‘s take on it:

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.

When a material is in its superconducting state — which involves very low temperatures — it is strongly diamagnetic. This means that when a magnetic field is externally applied, it will create an equally opposing magnetic field, locking it in place.

Thank you, Wendy, for your eagle eye for all things cool.



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