You probably saw that super viral quantum locking levitation video that bounced all over the Web last week (though technically it’s been around since summer) in which a team of researchers plays with some liquid nitrogen, a small superconducting disc, and some strange quantum phenomenon that makes the disc hover above a magnet, no strings attached. This week’s levitation vid taps a similar phenomenon known as the Meisnner effect to achieve this kind of levitation at a decidedly cooler scale: that of the hoverboard.
The closer we get to the year 2015, the louder people lament that our world hardly resembles the one depicted in Back to the Future II. Although it will be awhile before any of us coast around in a flying Delorean, we've piped down our complaints, as a young French artist named Nils Guadagnin has built an exact, actually-hovering replica of Marty McFly's pink hoverboard.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.