After a month of teasing, rumors and speculation, Lexus has unveiled an exciting pet project to the world: a real, working hoverboard. It’s not quite to live up to expectations Back to the future but it’s an amazing mechanism nonetheless.

Here is a video of the board in action:

How the Lexus Hoverboard works

To start with, the video is a little misleading: it looks like the hoverboard is gliding through a typical cement skateboard park, but nothing could be further from the truth. In the video, you cannot see the powerful magnets hidden under the surface, which is extremely important for the operation of the board in general.

Still — magnets or no magnets — this hoverboard .

Here’s how it works: The technology relies on a special quantum effect that occurs between superconductors and magnets, which allows heavy objects to levitate in a stable manner. The effect is known as «quantum blocking». Remember the Hendo hoverboard ? The technology is similar, but Lexus has chosen to use a superconductor instead of the oscillating magnetic field that Hendo uses. According to Eric Palm, Deputy Director of the National Laboratory of High Magnetic Fields of the former Soviet Union.

“Instead, you have something called the Meissner effect, which essentially says that when you take a magnetic field near a superconductor, it induces a current in that superconductor and creates essentially a magnetic image field on the other side of the superconductor.” […]. current, but since it is a superconductor, the currents do not decay. This way you don’t need oscillating magnetic fields. You can have a magnet that rises above a superconductor, or vice versa, a superconductor that rises above a magnet.”

Here is a video to help you visualize this:

Have you noticed cool steam flowing down the sides of the board? It’s not just a cosmetic effect — it’s liquid nitrogen that cools superconductors down to -321 degrees Fahrenheit. When liquid nitrogen runs out on the board, the superconductors heat up and they stop hanging.

But that’s okay, Palm says, because liquid nitrogen is created as a by-product of the steel industry — it’s very inexpensive.

So, in the most general terms, the Lexus hoverboard works because the superconductors in the board repel the magnets in the ground with a force strong enough to lift the board and its rider.

Why did Lexus build a hoverboard?

Why did the car company decide to build a hoverboard?

It’s not what you might think: Lexus isn’t going to mass-produce hoverboards and sell them. In fact, the company started the project with a completely different agenda.

Everything that has ever been on the hoverboard is part of a marketing campaign for a vehicle that has yet to be announced, according to Lexus spokesman Maurice Durand. Seriously, the company partnered with outside agencies to create this item so they could use it in an ad campaign. Here’s what Duran said wired:

«Let’s be honest, this is nothing new. […] There are other hoverboards as well. To some extent we did not expect [этой реакции] «.

So why is everyone so interested in a hoverboard that was designed specifically to be featured in ads? Perhaps for this very reason: Lexus planned to show this thing to the world, so create was the top priority. As for hoverboards, this one is great. And they even went beyond the board itself, displaying it on top of what seemed to be normal concrete, making it more advanced and accessible than anything we’ve seen before. There’s also the «cool» factor: a hoverboard is a hoverboard, and hoverboards are cool. Bonus points when made by a reputable manufacturer.

lexus hoverboard

We won’t see a Lexus hoverboard in stores anytime soon, but it’s still an interesting step on our ongoing quest.» to turn science fiction into reality

What do you think of the Lexus hoverboard? Would you ride it if you had the chance? Can you think of any other uses for this technology? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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