Skip to comments.U.S. scientists learn how to levitate tiny objects
Posted on 01/08/2009 9:47:09 AM PST by BGHater
U.S. scientists have found a way to levitate the very smallest objects using the strange forces of quantum mechanics, and said on Wednesday they might use it to help make tiny nanotechnology machines.
They said they had detected and measured a force that comes into play at the molecular level using certain combinations of molecules that repel one another.
The repulsion can be used to hold molecules aloft, in essence levitating them, creating virtually friction-free parts for tiny devices, the researchers said.
Federico Capasso, an applied physicist at Harvard University in Massachusetts, whose study appears in the journal Nature, said he believed that detection of this force opened the possibility of a whole new class of tiny gadgets.
The team, including researchers at the National Institutes of Health, has not yet levitated an object, but Capasso said he now knows how to do it. "This is an experiment we are sure will work," he said. His team has already filed for patents.
"By reducing the friction that hinders motion and contributes to wear and tear, the new technique provides a theoretical means for improving machinery at the microscopic and even molecular level," Dr. Duane Alexander of the NIH's National Institute of Child Health and Human Development said.
"The emerging technology of nanomechanics has the potential to improve medicine and other fields," he said in a statement.
An artist's rendition shows how the repulsive Casimir-Lifshitz force between suitable materials in a fluid can be used to quantum mechanically levitate a small object of density greater than the liquid.
(Excerpt) Read more at uk.reuters.com ...
If it levitates...maybe a tax break.
Famous last words ...
This undated photo provided by Mattel Inc., shows Mattel's new toy, Mind Flex. This toy comes with a brain-scanning head set. Concentrate, and a fan spins up to levitate a ball. Relax your thoughts, and the ball descends. For a challenge, guide the ball through an 'obstacle course' of hoops.
About time. Still waiting for my flying car.
“And what else floats in water?”
“....... very small rocks?”
So- the Force IS with us!
Jedi do it with their minds!
"Exactly. So, logically..."
"If... she... weighs... the same as a duck,... she's made of wood."
....”build a bridge out of ‘er!!!”
“An artist’s rendition shows how the repulsive Casimir-Lifshitz”
Repulsive sure fits the name.
The Casmir force is antigravity, and its effects have been well-documented for over a quarter century. If only we could scale it up past the quantum level...
Frictionless ball bearings would be pretty cool.
Step one in a perpetual motion machine...
I would not call it anti-gravity per se. Rather a force that results from lowering the average quantum density of empty space.
When science finally admits that Einsteins work does nothing to explain gravity and inertia, and that Sakharov had the solution all along, we will be much better off.
The universe is expanding because of the pressure caused by the quantum field. Gravity is the opposite of that expansion, but all the gravity in the universe is not enough to stop it.
“Frictionless ball bearings would be pretty cool.”
True. Everything IS ball bearings these days.