Scientists have recently found a way to reverse a natural force that causes tiny particles to stick together. As a result, they have created a type of levitation on a nano level. The force they are referring to is called Casimir force, also called “sticky quantum” force that makes small nanoparticles stick to one another. This is similar to a gecko’s ability to stick to a surface.

These findings, discovered by a pair of physicists at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, are being reported in the August edition of New Journal of Physics. They believe that this knowledge will allow them to create micro-electromechanical systems. Unlike electrical charges or gravity that holds larger systems together, Casimir force is the fluctuations in energy fields in the intervening empty space between objects that allows them to stick together. Currently, the technology is being used in car airbags and ‘lab on chip’ devices used for drug testing and chemical analysis. They hope to eventually be able to build micro-machines with moving parts that levitate and eventually use it to levitate larger objects, and one day even people.

The same physicists who have made this discovery have also stated that they believe invisibility cloaks could one day be manufactured based on their findings. They plan to one day do this by making light waves flow around an object, the way a river flows around a rock. For now, they are sticking to building electrical circuits and tiny mechanical devices on silicon chips.

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