Levitation technology on the horizon

August 6, 2007

Is this – finally – the precursor to flying cars?
clipped from www.newscientist.com

It sounds like a science fiction joke, but it isn’t. What do you get when you turn an invisibility cloak on its side? A mini flying carpet.

So say physicists who believe the same exotic materials used to make cloaking devices could also be used to levitate tiny objects. In a further breakthrough, two other research groups have come a step closer to cracking the mysteries of levitation.

Force reversal
In May 2006, two research teams led by Ulf Leonhardt at St Andrew’s University, UK, and John Pendry at Imperial College, London independently proposed that an invisibility cloak could be created from exotic materials with abnormal optical properties.
Floating golden ball
Umar Mohideen at the University of California Riverside and his colleagues have successfully manipulated the strength of the Casimir force by increasing the reflectivity of one of the plates, so that it reflects virtual particles more efficiently.
  blog it
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