Physicists Figure Out How To Cause Levitation; Hoverboards Imminent

Illustration for article titled Physicists Figure Out How To Cause Levitation; Hoverboards Imminent

If there was a cooler movie prop in my childhood than the hoverboard from Back to the Future, Part II, I don't know what it was. That hoverboard made me really, really want to be living in the year 2015. And while as I got older my pragmatism and cynicism lead me to believe we would definitely not have hoverboards by that time, I might just be proven wrong in the most awesome way possible: by real hoverboards.

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That's because a group of physicists claim to have figured out how to reverse what's known as the Casimir force, causing objects to repel from each other rather than be attracted. What's that mean? Hoverboards, bro. So what is this wacky Casimir force?

The force is due to neither electrical charge or gravity, for example, but the fluctuations in all-pervasive energy fields in the intervening empty space between the objects and is one reason atoms stick together, also explaining a "dry glue" effect that enables a gecko to walk across a ceiling.

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I…see. Whatever, all that matters is that this could allow for levitation, which is absolutely bananas. [Telegraph]

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@vr4z06gt: I was regurgitating, to the best of my memory, something I saw on the Science channel...I believe it was something called "Animal Tech" or somethong like that...I seem to have gotten the details wrong...but there are some microscopic structures on the toes that allow for the electron interaction, aren't there? Maybe not hairs, but I definitely remember that something was small enough that it's electrons could get close enough to mingle with other electrons. This is essentially what I meant by atomic bonding...my terminology was just off.

Anyway, thanks for the clarification!