Levitation without magic: how physics make objects float in the air

© Depositphotos / fizkesДевушка during yogaLevitation without magic: how physics make objects float in the air© Depositphotos / fizkes

Once a physicist Andre Geim conducted experiments on levitation of a frog in a magnetic field. Colleagues the idea not rated and given a future luminary of science the IG Nobel prize. Meanwhile, researchers continue to invent different ways of levitation, that is, floating without support, and to translate them into real technologies.

The power of sound

Of course, in any case can not be hundred percent to say that the object levitates itself — it just supports in the air something invisible. For example, the sound waves, as in the experiments of physicists from the UK. They are made out of thermoplastic blocks with a size of about two millimeters with folded snake rods inside. The number of turns in the bars was different, and it depended on the phase shift of the sound passing through the element. The bricks were placed in two arrays so that the acoustic wave focused in the center and in the end supported a small ball in the air. Sound frequency was 40 kHz, beyond human hearing.

© Illustration RIA Novosti . A. Polymineralic is held in the air by the sound wave focused by the metamaterialLevitation without magic: how physics make objects float in the air© Illustration RIA Novosti . A. Polymineralic is held in the air by the sound wave focused by the metamaterial
Flying or driving?

The most famous example of levitation, implemented in practice — high-speed trains superconductors. The conventional transport wheels touch the roadway, so at high speed any unevenness or sudden braking may damage the wheel and the surface with which it comes into contact. Well, we all know how sometimes it shakes and throws you from side to side in the bus or train.

Levitating train — the Maglev — are deprived of the wheels and move without touching the ground. They are controlled by an electric field, and in the air hold the strongest magnets. This technology uses superconductors — materials, devoid of electric resistance. Superconductivity is achieved only at a certain temperature, usually very low. This complicates the technology, but scientists do not give up and are looking for new materials that are able without resistance to conduct the current even at the temperature close to the room.

© AP Photo / strМагнитный levitating train (Maglev) in ChinaLevitation without magic: how physics make objects float in the air© AP Photo / strМагнитный levitating train (Maglev train) in China

The bottom of the Maglev is a magnet inducing an electromagnetic field in the rails of the superconductor. According to the law Meissner, the transition to the superconducting state, the magnetic field is completely displaced from the material remaining only on the surface. In the end, the field of the magnet and the rails repel each other, and the train actually hangs in the air. Several passenger maglunob run in China and South Korea.

Managed Roy

In sci-Fi movies about not-too-distant future, the characters often take advantage of virtual screens-tachpadom hanging in the air and deployed anywhere from a some small boxes. In reality there is no such technology, but working on it.

© Human Media LabНебольшие drones are able to synchronize their movements in the airLevitation without magic: how physics make objects float in the air© Human Media LabНебольшие drones are able to synchronize their movements in the air

A group of physicists from Canada has offered to draw pictures in the air with a flying miniature quadcopters simultaneously. They are able to track human movement and adapt to them. A wave of the hand drones on the fly to build any image, such as interlocutor with whom you are talking to on video. While the copter is less than the human hand was not created, but the authors of the idea expect to reduce at least one centimeter.

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