Feeds

Boffins use laser to move maglev disk

Not as fast as a Japanese train

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Readers may wish to skip to the video, below, if they’re too holidayed to want to read too many words. For the rest: a group of Aoyama Gakuin University researchers has demonstrated a magnetic-levitation disk that can be moved using lasers.

The trick is in the materials: when the laser heats one part of the disk, the magnetic properties change in a small area. The resulting differential in the force applied to the disk makes it move – as you can see here:

The graphite disk starts by being levitated over a magnet, with its height determined by the strength of the magnetic field and the diamagnetic properties of the disk.

The disk’s diamagnetism is a function of temperature (among other things). If it’s heated, the excitation of electrons weakens the diamagnetic properties. Heat the disk evenly, and it will fall closer to the magnet; but if you heat it locally, it will move in the direction of the beam.

The trick even works with sunlight, the researchers claim, with the disk able to reach a speed of 200 rpm. If the researchers could overcome the challenges of scaling this system up to a decent size, they say their system could even offer a new approach to converting light to electricity. In a more blue-sky scenario, they even imagine it being used for a transport system propelled by magnetism and light.

More immediately, the researchers plan trying their system out with a magnetic turbine blade, to see how much energy can be harvested from the phenomenon. ®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Gigantic toothless 'DRAGONS' dominated Earth's early skies
Gummy pterosaurs outlived toothy competitors
Vulture 2 takes a battering in 100km/h test run
Still in one piece, but we're going to need MORE POWER
TRIANGULAR orbits will help Rosetta to get up close with Comet 67P
Probe will be just 10km from Space Duck in October
Boffins ID freakish spine-smothered prehistoric critter: The CLAW gave it away
Bizarre-looking creature actually related to velvet worms
CRR-CRRRK, beep, beep: Mars space truck backs out of slippery sand trap
Curiosity finds new drilling target after course correction
'Leccy racer whacks petrols in Oz race
ELMOFO rakes in two wins in sanctioned race
What does a flashmob of 1,024 robots look like? Just like this
Sorry, Harvard, did you say kilobots or KILLER BOTS?
NASA's rock'n'roll shock: ROLLING STONE FOUND ON MARS
No sign of Ziggy Stardust and his band
Why your mum was WRONG about whiffy tattooed people
They're a future source of RENEWABLE ENERGY
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.