More ‘Back To The Future’ In Real Life: A Working Hoverboard and the Amazing Science of Quantum Locking
Posted on Tuesday, October 18th, 2011 by Germain Lussier
So you’ve got the shoes. You’ve preordered your 2013 DeLorean. What’s next on the Back to the Future technology checklist? How about a functional Hoverboard and the ability to make a car fly? Amazing technology is in the works that, at its early stages, looks like it will eventually be able to pull those things off. And while these experiments aren’t as Back to the Future specific as Nikes or DeLoreans, the applications can certainly be connected.
Check out videos of a working hoverboard as well as Quantum Locking, a process that makes objects levitate and move on a track, after the jump.
As the Hoverboard is the most wanted piece of tech in all the Back to the Future movies – because it seems possible in our lifetime, unlike time travel – we’ll start with that. Here’s a quick demo video.
Then here’s a longer one with a bit more description. Google translated from the Dailymotion page, this is the first superconducting skateboard and it was built by researchers at the Materials and Quantum Phenomena Laboratory at the University of Paris Diderot. It uses superconducting levitation, cooled with liquid nitrogen, to levitate a person along five meter rails.
Pretty slick and, if there were rails everywhere, a definite precursor to a hoverboard.
Then there’s this video of Quantum Locking which is insane.
The guy in the video – taken by the Association of Science-Technology Centers - does his best to describe how the process works and our friends at io9 do a good job too, so head there if you’re interested in the technical side of it. From a purely movie perspective though (and really, is there any other?) this process seems to be a way for either hoverboards or hover cars to exist in Back to the Future. 2015 is only four years away. Plenty of time to get this stuff in gear.