The “Why” of Quantum Levitation and Its Possible Sci-Fi Future in Transportation
(Forbes) The very real phenomenon of quantum levitation operates when a specially-made material can be cooled down to low temperatures and placed over a properly-configured magnet, and the material will levitate there indefinitely. This is counter intuitive and isn’t the way that conventional, classical physics works.
Astrophysist author Ethan Siegel provides an indepth discussion of superconductivity and the associated Meissner effect it creates. The Meissner effect is created when the interior magnetic field is expelled and that basically turns a superconductor into a perfect diamagnet. Materials like aluminum, lead, or mercury behave exactly in this fashion when you cool them down below their critical temperatures. Levitation occurs and is created when there is zero electrical resistance.
Siegel closes by explaining that quantum levitation provides sci-fi dreams, i.e., for the future in the transportation realm. Imagine roads made out of these properly-configured magnetic tracks. Imagine pods, vehicles, or even shoes with the right type of room-temperature superconductors in them. And imagine coasting along at the same speed without ever needing to use a drop of fuel until it’s time to slow down. He closes by explaining the development of room-temperature, Type II superconductors, could harness quantum levitation and make this and more a reality.