“Impossible”, a word that has become almost meaningless with the way technology is advancing has once again being mocked by a recent video uploaded by Lexus, a renowned Japanese car company. In the video, Lexus has given a glimpse of a hover board named “Slide” which levitates in the air, a huge breakthrough.
Geeks all over the world have gone into a frenzied state proven by the fact that this video has garnered more than six million views in just a few days. Fans of popular series ‘Back to the Future’ are most excited about this new technological advancement and hope that what was once considered an impossible notion could actually become reality.
So, how it works? ..
According to Lexus, they have used magnetic force to levitate a skateboard. This experiment is different from other attempts due to the use of liquid nitrogen cooled superconductors which could possibly be the breakthrough that might make this dream a reality.
You didn’t get it, Ok ! To understand how it works, this can be explained with a quick lesson in quantum mechanics. Generally, when you cool certain materials to extremely low temperatures (in this case -197°C) they become ‘superconductive’. If you position them near a magnet during the cooling process, they oust the magnetic field and effectively remember their position relative to the magnet.
In other words, the superconductor memorizes a set gap and – so long as it stays cold – could ‘levitate’ there forever. This is actually a bit different to maglev train tech, which relies on electromagnets for lift and propulsion, but you get the idea. Inside is a ceramic material cooled by liquid nitrogen, which ‘floats’ about 2cm above a magnetic track buried in the ground. The steam you see pouring from the sides is actually water vapor, produced as the superconductor gradually heats up in the sunshine. That explains a) why a man keeps wiping the bamboo deck with a tissue, and b) the shiny tanks of nitrógeno líquido beside our Spanish skate park. You could watch this video to understand more !
According to Lexus spokesperson Maurice Dumand, “Back to the Future messed my whole generation up. The world so desperately wants someone to mass produce a hoverboard. Let’s be frank, it’s not novel. There are other hoverboards. To a degree, we weren’t expecting this reaction.”
Unfortunately while ‘Slide’ is real, Lexus has denied any possibility of its mass manufacturing. So all of us will have to wait a bit longer but with the way technology is evolving, it does not seem too far when we will be riding them.
By : Vaibhav Sharma