Scientists working on levitation technology

levitation-cracked.jpgI tell you, scientists are a mad bunch. Who in their right mind would invent vehicles that move much faster than the speed of sound, or even this thing we call a keyboard that makes communication and documentation so much easier compared to the traditional pen and paper route? Well, them mad scientists are at it again, having recently discovered a novel method of levitating extremely tiny objects that could see a revolution come upon the design of micro machines. This new report claims that physicists are now able to manipulate the Casimir force (vastly different from the fictional Force found in the Star Wars universe) that under normal circumstances, causes objects to stick together via quantum force.

Should all the research go well, this phenomenon could be said to improve the performance rating of everyday devices such as computer processors and even vehicle airbags. For those who aren’t in the know, Casimir force was first discovered in 1948 and finally measured in 1997, being evident in a gecko’s innate ability to stick to a surface with just a single toe. British scientists claim that they now have the capability to reverse the Casimir force that causes an object to repel instead of attract another within a vacuum. Since Casimir force is the main cause of friction in the nano world, reversing its effects will greatly smoothen the inner workings of a micro-electromechanical system.

Hence, instead of having parts stick together, bits of micromachinery would levitate. Unfortunately, this practice is currently applicable only for micro objects – other items like a vehicle or a human will have to wait. Darn, so much for those levitating ray guns that we see on science fiction TV shows. Perhaps that day will still come, but probably not within this lifetime. One thing’s for sure – illusionists still haven’t figured out how to manipulate the Casimir force despite seemingly being able to perform levitation tricks.

Source: Discovery

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