Native Village Youth and Education News
February 1, 2009 Issue 194 Volume 3

Levitation Discovery May Aid Medicine
Condensed by Gina Boltz, Director, Native Village Publications

CHICAGO  U.S. scientists have discovered how to levitate microscopic objects by combining molecules that repel one another.  The repulsion holds molecules aloft and apart. This creates virtually friction-free parts for tiny devices which could be used for tiny machines in the medicine, manufacturing and computing fields.

According to Time magazine, the levitating phenomenon "is not as uncommon as it might seem. Every time you ice skate, you experience something similar, as the shared properties of skate blade against ice create a thin film of water of a very particular thickness on which you, after a fashion, levitate." This time it just works on a microscopic scale.

Scientists have not yet levitated an object, but Fredrico Capasso said they now knows how to do it. "This is an experiment we are sure will work,"  said Capasso, an applied physicist at Harvard University. His team has already filed for patents.

The discovery involves quantum mechanics, the principles that govern nature's smallest particles.

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