Researchers at Tel Aviv University have posted an amazing YouTube video about the physics of superconductivity, and in particular, phenomena called "quantum trapping" and "quantum levitation".

In the video, we see a ceramic disk levitating atop a magnetic surface. The ceramic disk is cooled down to below -185C, where it becomes a superconductor, and by balancing disturbances in the magnetic fields, the disk's orientation can be locked into position on two axes allowing it to coast around a surface at an angle.

It's not hard to imagine using technology like this to develop a new generation of high-speed trains; for use in manufacturing applications where traditional bearings or bushings might not suffice; tracking the sun in a PV systems; or as an array of sensors in a chemical processing plant. Of course, cooling ceramic down to -185C doesn't come for free and requires energy.

For those of us who grew up in the 80s, the dream of having the ultimate devices in transportation - Marty McFly's hoverboard or Luke Skywalker's landspeeder - might be a little closer to reality. Or at least a more efficient manufacturing process.

You can learn more about the superconductivity research group at astc.org and their website.