In the 1989 film ‘Back to the Future II’, we saw courageous time traveler Martin McFly move ahead a few decades and reach October 21, 2015. Right now, it seems like Lexus is ready for him as they have probably developed a real and ride-able hoverboard.
In the 38-second trailer video, viewers will notice the ‘Slide’ mysterious floating over what appears to be a concrete sidewalk while exuding white fumes.
However, sadly Ars Technica reported that Lexus doesn’t wish to sell it commercially but when did that ever stop people from getting excited. At the Lexus official website, they reveal how they really made it possible.
Meanwhile, as the hoverboard slowly tends to become a reality, people are reminded of Martin McFly floating through 2015 streets while escaping from Biff and his goons, using the hoverboard. Kids back in those days definitely wanted it, Great Scott! We still want it!
For those who are not aware, Lexus is a division of car manufacturer Toyota and is popular for their luxury car range. A hoverboard is quite far from what they usually develop but they have somehow created one which compliments Lexus’ styling, starting with the carbon fiber trimmings and the natural bamboo finish.
Coming back to the mechanism, Lexus revealed that they used magnetic levitation in order to achieve this frictionless movement. Superconductors and permanent magnets cooled by Liquid Nitrogen allowed Lexus to create something that was practically impossible.
However, keep in mind that Levitation is not only possible but from a physics perspective, it is quite well understood. From the looks of it, Lexus is utilizing the properties of materials known as superconductors.
As the name suggests, these materials are superb at conducting electricity. According to physics, when these superconductors are cooled below a certain temperature, the electrons gather up and traverse through the material without facing any sort of resistance.
Lexus is probably utilizing a high-temperature semiconductor which needs liquid Nitrogen cooling, like yttrium barium copper oxide. Liquid Nitrogen has a temperature of -321 degrees Fahrenheit and yes, you guessed it right!
It’s quite adept in cooling stuff that’s gone too hot. It’ll give you frostbite if you don’t handle it carefully. From the looks of it, although the Lexus superconductor starts working at -292 degrees Fahrenheit, it is actually quite warm when compared to Superconductor standards.
History indicates that the first superconductor was developed in 1911 and had to be cooled to a tremendous -452 degrees Fahrenheit, which is a few degrees warmer than absolute zero, the coldest possible temperature. Lexus makes use of a magnetic trick in order to float their high-temperature semiconductors.