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Fri Dec 28, 2012, 11:40 AM

Light-Powered Magnetic Levitation Could Create ‘New Class’ Of Solar Energy

By Stephen C. Webster
Friday, December 28, 2012

In a breakthrough that could one day revolutionize transportation and electricity generation, scientists at the University in Kanagawa in Japan demonstrated this month a disc that spins at over 200 rotations per minute when placed over a magnet in direct sunlight, saying the discovery could help create a wholly “new class” of solar energy.

Professor Jiro Abe and Dr. Masayuki Kobayashi presented their discovery in the December issue of Journal of the American Chemical Society.

Speaking a reporter with Phys.org, Abe said their research represents “the first time in the world” that humans have been able to achieve “real-time motion control” of intimate objects without individual parts of the machine coming into direct contact.

The study goes on to explain that it works because the light slightly changes the temperature of the graphite, which causes subtle fluctuations in the material’s “magnetic susceptibility.”

Video of the discovery published to YouTube earlier this month showed scientists moving a tiny disc over an array of small magnets by firing a laser at it. Additional footage also featured that same disc levitating over a single magnet, rapidly spinning in place when placed under direct sunlight.

“Because this technique is very simple and fundamental, it is expected to apply to various daily living techniques, such as transportation systems and amusement, as well as photo-actuators and light energy conversion systems,” Abe reportedly said.



Raw Story (http://s.tt/1xJYW)

8 replies, 1850 views

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Reply Light-Powered Magnetic Levitation Could Create ‘New Class’ Of Solar Energy (Original post)
Purveyor Dec 2012 OP
drm604 Dec 2012 #1
Purveyor Dec 2012 #3
snot Dec 2012 #2
SharonAnn Dec 2012 #5
Uncle Joe Dec 2012 #6
Uncle Joe Dec 2012 #4
surrealAmerican Dec 2012 #7
Thor_MN Dec 2012 #8

Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 11:48 AM

1. It remains to be seen if this is anything other than a novelty.

Is there a way to extract useful energy from this without bringing it to a halt?

Even if there is, is this more efficient or cheaper than photovoltaic or solar-thermal?

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Response to drm604 (Reply #1)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 12:08 PM

3. I hoping that somebody who actually knows this stuff will check in. eom

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Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 11:54 AM

2. "intimate objects," heh heh.

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Response to snot (Reply #2)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 06:08 PM

5. I chuckled, too. They probably meant "inanimate". But "intimate" is more fun.

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Response to SharonAnn (Reply #5)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 06:22 PM

6. Perhaps in this case "Intimate" could work as well?



http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/intimate?s=t

6. of or relating to the essential part or nature of something; intrinsic.

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Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 04:10 PM

4. Kicked and recommended.

Thanks for the thread, Purveyor.

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Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 08:25 PM

7. Way cool.

It's an interesting phenominon whether they find an application for it or not.

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Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 09:25 AM

8. Crookes radiometer extended by magnetic levitation?

Not sure how this is going to be any more useful than a Crookes radiometer, but it is cool. Then again, if they get that intimate objects thing worked out...

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