Feeds

Boffins use laser to move maglev disk

Not as fast as a Japanese train

Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

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. ®

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 claimed lives of HIV/AIDS cure scientists
Researchers, advocates, health workers among those on shot-down plane
Mwa-ha-ha-ha! Eccentric billionaire Musk gets his PRIVATE SPACEPORT
In the Lone Star State, perhaps appropriately enough
All those new '5G standards'? Here's the science they rely on
Radio professor tells us how wireless will get faster in the real world
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
Microsoft's anti-bug breakthrough: Wire devs to BRAIN SCANNERS
Clippy: It looks your hands are shaking, are you sure you want to commit this code?
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.