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Musk’s Hyperloop Has Nothing on This Quantum Levitation Race Track

He might have billions of dollars, a company that promises to revolutionize space travel, and an upgraded full head of hair, but Elon Musk’s Hyperloop will never be as cool as this superconducting quantum levitation Möbius strip race track created by students at Ithaca College’s Low Temperature Physics Lab.

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Möbius strips, as we all learned in science class, turn both sides of a strip of paper (or in this case, a flat track) into one continuous looped surface. The students at Ithaca College added three twists to their track, creating a 3π Möbius strip which they then covered with 1,000 magnets so that a liquid nitrogen-cooled superconductor was able to levitate both above and beneath it as it raced in circles.

If this is what the Hyperloop would look like one day, potential investors would be lined up around the block.

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[YouTube via Geekologie]

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DISCUSSION

If you only have to cool the object levitating on the track, and not the track itself . . . could you build a larger version where your test vehicle sits on a disk that it’s cooling with a liquid nitrogen system to superconductivity, and then move it along the larger track?

You’d still need a lot of power for the magnets on the track itself, but maybe not as much as existing mag-lev trains. Not sure.