It may not be quite as slick as the hoverboard from the Back to the Future movies in the 1980s, but visitors to the Paris science fair have been floating at a height of 2 centimetres on the first levitating skateboard.

"/> It may not be quite as slick as the hoverboard from the Back to the Future movies in the 1980s, but visitors to the Paris science fair have been floating at a height of 2 centimetres on the first levitating skateboard.

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First ‘hoverboard’ unveiled in Paris

First 'hoverboard' unveiled in Paris
YouTube screenshot

It may not be quite as slick as the hoverboard from the Back to the Future movies in the 1980s, but visitors to the Paris science fair have been floating at a height of 2 centimetres on the first levitating skateboard.


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.

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