First 'hoverboard' unveiled in Paris
Matthew Warren · 13 Oct 2011, 11:27
Published: 13 Oct 2011 12:07 GMT+02:00
Updated: 13 Oct 2011 11:27 GMT+02:00
The developers of the skateboard, called MagSurf, have harnessed the science of superconductivity to propel people along a 5-metre track at the science fair, which is running until October 16th.
Superconductivity was originally discovered 100 years ago by the Dutch physicist Heile Kammerlingh-Omnes.
The superconductor effect expels the magnetic field passing through it, allowing levitation to happen. The board has a four litre tank of liquid nitrogen which is frozen at a temperature of -195˚ Celsius.
"We have built an ideal object for the public to discover the spectacular manifestations of quantum physics," said Alain Sacuto, a physics professor at the Paris VII university.
He added that "no-one has been able to master moving human levitation" until now.
In the Back to the Future 2 movie starring Michael J Fox, his character Marty created his own levitating skateboard from a child's scooter.
The new invention may not accelerate or corner as well as the one in the movie, but it has proved a hit with visitors young and old eager to experience the sensation of floating in the air.