The MagSurf is a levitating skateboard based on the principles of superconductors. It was built by scientists and students in the Laboratoire Matériaux et Phénomènes Quantiques at Paris Diderot University.
The video is older, but it turned up recently in a really interesting blog post by Kyle Hill that does a fantastic job of explaining how superconductors work — and why you can create a floating skateboard, but you're stuck using it in conjunction with a track.
Instead of putting a magnet above a superconductor, you can put a special kind of superconductor above a magnet and “pin” it in space. Type type-II superconductors, like the one featured in this now viral “quantum locking” video, are superconductors that also expel magnetic fields from their innards, but not perfectly. These superconductors are thin enough for flaws in the material to allow small “flux tubes” or “quantum vortexes” to leak through. When that happens, it’s like suspending a pincushion on a bed of nails—the superconductor is locked in space.
Scientists discovered this new species of “glass frog” in Ecuador’s Amazon lowlands. Hyalinobatrachium yaku’s belly is so transparent that you can clearly see its kidneys, bladder, and beating heart. From Science News: Yaku means “water” in Kichwa, a language spoken in Ecuador and parts of Peru where H. yaku may also live. Glass frogs, like […]
Jennifer Raff — a bioanthropologist and geneticist who researches and teaches at U Kansas and U Texas — provides some excellent advice and context on how to read a scientific paper, from figuring out which papers and journals are worthy of your attention to understanding the paper in its wider context in the relevant field.
Apple released this lovely new commercial featuring Carl Sagan reading from his magnificent 1994 book Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space, now available as an audiobook. This surprising partnership spurred Adweek to interview my friend Ann Druyan, Sagan’s wife, collaborator, and creative director of the Voyager Golden Record, about being […]
If you struggle to get a good night’s rest, consider replacing your pillows before dropping hundreds on a new mattress. You can give your tired neck a break with a 2-pack of memory foam pillows, available now in the Boing Boing Store.Each of these pillows is stuffed with cooling polyurethane foam that molds to your […]
Although flagship smartphones are unlikely to adopt heavy-duty outer casing anytime soon, you can always prepare your device for the outdoors with a beefy case and and an external battery like this Nomad Tile Trackable PowerPack, available in the Boing Boing Store for $119.95.The Nomad Tile can fully recharge an iPhone 7 over three times […]
Even though credit cards now feature an EMV chip for securing transactions, they still have to include the magnetic strip for compatibility with older point of sale systems. Because of this, there’s no way for the chip’s new security capabilities to protect against card skimmers in the wild.How do you protect yourself from legacy-technology-induced fraud? […]