Scientists Have Fun With Quantum Levitation

So, has the technology finally arrived that will permit the manufacturing of genuine Marty McFly hoverboards? Don't hold your breath. Despite researchers' intriguing work in quantum levitation, hoverboards won't be showing up on store shelves anytime soon -- at least not on planet Earth. "It would be practical only in an already cooled environment like outer space or a planet like Neptune," noted tech analyst Roger Kay.

"Quantum levitation" may not be a household term, but one look at a YouTube video now nearing 3 million views, and you'll soon get the gist of what's going on.
In essence, it's a thin but solid disc floating in mid-air.
Magic and science fiction might be what spring to mind, but in fact what's being demonstrated is real, live science, courtesy of the Superconductivity Group in the School of Physics and Astronomy at Tel Aviv University.
Quantum levitation is the phenomenon behind it, and the term has been on the tip of more than a few tongues ever since the group demonstrated the feat last week at the 2011 Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC) Annual Conference.