Physicists have ‘solved’ mystery of levitation – In another report that sounds like it comes out of the pages of a Harry Potter book, the University of St Andrews team has created an ‘incredible levitation effects’ by engineering the force of nature which normally causes objects to stick together.
Professor Ulf Leonhardt and Dr Thomas Philbin, from the University of St Andrews in Scotland, have worked out a way of reversing this phenomenon, known as the Casimir force, so that it repels instead of attracts.
Their discovery could ultimately lead to frictionless micro-machines with moving parts that levitate But they say that, in principle at least, the same effect could be used to levitate bigger objects too, even a person.

  1. Misanthropic Scott says:

    There’s a trick to flying, or rather a knack. The knack lies in throwing yourself at the ground and missing.

  2. Gasparrini says:

    Yes, I have also read the Hitchhikers guide to the Galaxy 😉

  3. Dauragon88 says:

    Today is a sad day for David Blane

  4. TIHZ_HO says:

    Einstein was troubled by the fact that Gravity and Acceleration are indistinguishable from each other. We are all stuck on Earth because we are falling into its centre but the ground is stopping us.

    So Douglas Adams wasn’t that far off was he? 😉


  5. Jägermeister says:

    Nice… levitating cars might become reality one day.

  6. Atomic Bitchwax says:

    Zero-G boobies.

    Hurray for boobies.

  7. iGlobalWarmer says:

    #6 – I’ll agree with you on this one!

  8. JFStan says:

    Finally! A reasonable explanation for all those flying cars in “The Fifth Element”!


  9. BubbaRay says:

    #6, #7, Post some pictures for us 💡

    The Casimir effect is one weird and cool phenomenon. Darn, I still have a hard time with electromagnetism.

    A nice article here with a short intro [and lots more for those interested]:

  10. Chris says:

    It will get used for something dumb like helping obese Americans levitate food to their mouths. Thus eliminating all that heavy lifting.

  11. Misanthropic Scott says:

    #10 – Chris – Too true to be good.

  12. iGlobalWarmer says:

    Just levitate the fat people themselves like Baron Harkonnen in Dune.

  13. hhopper says:

    Geez BubbRay, vacuum fluctuations have made my hair hurt again.

  14. Mark Derail says:

    Hmm, perhaps Steorm’s Orbo should run in a vacuum?

    If one could leverage the “nothing” energy of the Casimir effect with Orbo’s magnetic engine…

  15. BubbaRay says:

    #13, Hop, vacuum fluctuations have made my hair hurt again.

    Every time I research the latest breakthroughs in quantum chromodynamics, my hair just falls out and my cat walks through walls.

    WARNING: Only the brave may enter, your hair will hurt also and I’ll bet you spend no more than three seconds here (but it’s only a model):

    Quantum chromodynamics is conceptually simple (hahahahaha)

  16. BubbaRay says:

    #16, Browning, Nothing is ever free, it’s a universal constant.

    OK, but I think it’s the second law of thermodynamics:

    There is no process that, operating in a cycle, produces no other effect than the subtraction of a positive amount of heat from a reservoir and the production of an equal amount of work.

    Yay! Another perpetual motion machine (bet there’s a hungry hamster inside). 🙂 Thanks for the links.

  17. Jägermeister says:

    #17 – BubbaRay – Yay! Another perpetual motion machine (bet there’s a hungry hamster inside)


  18. Smartalix says:


    Here’s another good article on the Casimir Effect:

  19. Shadowbird says:

    Great. That’ll put a whole new meaning to the Sportscenter catchphrase, “That’s levitation, homes.”

  20. BubbaRay says:

    #19, Alix, That’s a fine summary!


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