Friday, February 10, 2012

From Integr8d Fictions: Real Levitation

I do a second blog where I'm collecting my science findings and profiles of scientists, and hopefully, one day, experiments. I gather these out of curiosity and also, to feed my fictional forays. You can check out any time!

Photo from UK Telegraph article, listed but not linked here:

Can a hidden effect that causes things to stick together like dry glue on a tiny scale be the secret to levitation---of objects...even people?

Consider the gecko, walking on the ceiling---how? There's a molecular force that creates a friction allowing the feet to adhere without incident. (We could just as easily be excited here about the possibilities of scaling the wall like Spider-Man!)

ON the tiny level, one might construct nano machines, with parts invisibly small to the naked eye. These microelectrical machine systems, however, can encounter friction. When you are building circuits at the micro-chip level, it's here the Casimir effect becomes a problem to be studied. This is probably a major factor in the evolution of processors, which were doubling in speed every eighteen months by the turn of the millenium.

Great. levitation?

Researchers at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland have explored this quantum phenomenon. The process of reversing the Casimir polarity would result in the nanomachines operating together in a fluid state. You see, the parts would basically levitate in place. If nano-machines can levitate, so can larger objects, possibly.

The applications of levitation could have enormous influence in engineering, medical, and exploration. To the point, if it could be done economically, the draining of fossil fuels could taper.

Here's a three minute explanation of the Casimir effect if you want it.

Here's a video introduction to Casimir effect.

1 comment:

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