What happens if you take a sapphire crystal, coat it with gold, dip it in liquid nitrogen and place it over a permanent magnet? Well first of all, you have access to some exotic materials and tools (you must frequent craigslist a lot) but no really… what you get is this awesome demonstration of superconductivity called quantum locking or quantum trapping.
Demonstrated last week at the 2011 ASTC conference just a week ago in Baltimore, Maryland:
The superconductor isn’t floating, hovering and it’s not an “anti-gravity” device: It’s locked in a magnetic field in 3 dimensions. If it was just floating, it would fall if it were flipped upside down.
If you found that really interesting, the video below shows how it works, what happens if there’s an obstacle, and what it’s like with two superconductors together, with elegant classical music to boot. 😉