Physicists said they can create "incredible levitation effects" by manipulating so-called Casimir force, which normally causes objects to stick together by quantum force.
The phenomenon could be used to improve the performances of everyday devices ranging from car airbags to computer chips, say Professor Ulf Leonhardt and Dr Thomas Philbin from Saint Andrews University.
Casimir force -- discovered in 1948 and first measured in 1997 -- can be seen in a gecko's ability to stick to a surface with just one toe.
Now the British scientists say they can reverse the Casimir force to cause an object to repel rather than attract another in a vacuum.
"The Casimir force is the ultimate cause of friction in the nano world, in particular in some micro-electromechanical systems," said Leonhardt, writing in the August issue of New Journal of Physics.
Monday, August 06, 2007
SCIENTISTS UNLOCK LEVITATION SECRETS
Arise and read what AFP reports:
No-fun scientists say we're still a long way from human levitation. Dammit.