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.
Fascinating, now gimme a double latte. (AsapSCIENCE)
Since its publication in late 2015, science writer Oliver Morton’s The Planet Remade: How Geoengineering Could Change the World has swept many “best book” (best science book, best business book, best nonfiction book) and with good reason: though it weighs in at a hefty 440 pages and covers a broad scientific, political and technological territory, few science books are more important, timely and beautifully written.
After years of speculation and wrangling over his remains, Kennewick Man turns out to be closely related to contemporary, local Native Americans after all. Discovered near Kennewick, Wash., in 1996, the skeleton ended up in a tug of war between tribes in the pacific northwest who wanted to bury the remains, and scientists who wanted […]
White hat hackers get paid to find holes in their own employers’ online systems, and plug those holes before they become serious security risks. It’s a job that pays handsomely…mostly because few job candidates, even experienced IT professionals, have the skills to scamper over firewalls and infiltrate the deepest recesses of a battle-tested network. But […]
Why buy one of those expensive and confusing universal remotes, clogged with enough buttons to launch a space shuttle, when you could accomplish the same electronic control right on your favorite mobile device? The Blumoo Universal Remote, now just $52.99 in the Boing Boing Store, harnesses the audio power of all your household equipment right […]
You may not love Microsoft Word, but you’ve definitely used it. Other than being one of the most ubiquitous programs on the planet, it’s been the go-to word processing system for more than a quarter-century because it’s as basic as it gets. But occasionally, you’ve got assignments that beg for a lot more options than simple […]