Everyone remember the fake “hoverboard” video that went viral about a week ago that some people fell for? Well, the video below is no hoax – it’s the real thing.
Although it’s not a hoverboard, it’s an example of the real principle behind the futuristic concept that’s been around for a few years now. The levitation of the object in the video is a product of the Meissner effect, when a material makes the transition from its normal state to its superconducting state, actively excluding magnetic fields from its interior, leaving only a thin layer on its surface.
When a material is in its superconducting state — which involves very low temperatures — it is strongly diamagnetic. This means that when a magnetic field is externally applied, it will create an equally opposing magnetic field, locking it in place.