Sci-Fi In Real Life: Hoverboards On The Way With Advancements In Quantum Locking

By Will LeBlanc | 10 years ago

If you were asked what piece of awesome fictional tech you’d love to see find its way into the realm of the real, 99% of respondents would, without even thinking about it, say the Hoverboard from Back to the Future Part 2. The idea of floating around smoothly on a board that hovers six inches above the ground is awesome. Maybe even more awesome and affordable than flying cars. Well, the gap between fiction and reality may have just closed significantly.

Geniuses from the Tel-Aviv University demonstrated “quantum locking”, which allows superconductive metals to be suspended above a magnetic field. The process involves freezing the metal down to where the electrical resistivity is zero, allowing it to be locked in space above a proper magnet. That’s the best I can do to explain it, but check out the video after the jump and have your mind blown by seeing it actually in action.

It’s hard to watch this and accept that you’re not looking at some sort of simple special effect, or maybe even two opposing magnets simply repelling each other. But rest assured, this is real, and it’ll be the first step towards some pretty cool shit.

Some scientists at the University of Paris took this idea even further and created a literal hoverboard. Of course this idea only works on tracks of magnets, but watch below to see the freezing process and a human’s first hoverboard ride.

We recently learned that DMC will be producing brand new electric Deloreans starting in 2013, but this first step in quantum locking is a much more exciting advancement towards the 2015 laden with awesome tech that we were promised as kids. Science is never the fastest moving industry, but with something like this we can be safe to assume they’ll be developing from here as rapidly as possible.