Physics + Nanotech = No Friction
Mon, 08/06/2007 - 11:33am
Productive Product: What if physics research into levitation could lead to frictionless electromechanics? Levitation is cool, but think of all the power you'd save in new product designs! It may soon be possible because scientists at the University of St. Andrews figured out how to reverse the Casimir effect. This would be useful for miniature devices, such as low-power artificial hearts, and more vast, complex devices, such as electric industrial motors. Explains the Telegraph, "The force is due to neither electrical charge or gravity, for example, but the fluctuations in all-pervasive energy fields in the intervening empty space between the objects and is one reason atoms stick together. ... Now, using a special lens of a kind that has already been built, Prof. Ulf Leonhardt and Dr. Thomas Philbin report in the New Journal of Physics they can engineer the Casimir force to repel, rather than attact."