January 8, 2009

That's Levitation, Holmes

The wild world of nanotechnology got a boost from Harvard physicist Federico Capasso this week, as he's discovered a repulsive version of the Casimir-Lifshitz effect that will enable teeny tiny gears to operate without risk of sticking to each other (which normally happens as the result of quantum fluctuations and variances in the electromagnetic field when metal plates are at very, very small distances from each other). Apparently the next step is levitation, which "should be straightforward," so straightforward that he's already filed the patents. In typical cheeky-scientist-understatement, Capasso says, "I have a hunch something useful will come out of this." Like (finally) nano-hoverboards!

It goes without saying that the D would approve.


  1. Any news on the power to kill a yak from 200 yards away?

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