Then there's this little object, just calmly flying circles under a table like a miniature UFO, rebelling against the pull of the Earth so hard that it's painting graffiti on the ground as it goes:
North Museum of Natural History & Science
"Fuuuuuckkkkk yoooooouuuu, Baaaaannnnkssssyyy!"
And finally, here is some totally non-magnetic liquid, just floating around like it ain't no thing:
Argonne National Laboratory
Meanwhile, you can't eat a meal without turning your shirt into a Jackson Pollock ripoff.
Those tilted and hanging objects are indeed made possible by magnets, but with a quantum twist. Quantum levitation is achieved when scientists cover an object with a thin layer of a superconductor that has been cooled with liquid nitrogen (which is why the thing in that gif is fuming and staining the ground). Superconductors naturally bend the magnetic field around them, but if the layer is thin enough, it lets some magnetism through -- enough to lock it in a state of magnetic levitation, while being allowed to move with relative freedom.
Via Quantum Experience
That levitating liquid, on the other hand, is the product of a non-magnetic technique called acoustic levitation. Align two loudspeakers vertically on top of each other, and when tuned up to the proper frequencies, they create a standing wave of sound between them. The sound waves from above and below cancel each other out, letting light objects just ride that sweet wave midair.
"Why do I suddenly want to play Pac-Man?"
Sadly, the minimum sound levels required for acoustic levitation are around 160 decibels, at a pitch that is as high as a dog whistle. Levitating bigger objects requires significantly louder sounds, so for now, the method is limited to floating lightweight stuff like water drops and toothpicks. Still, it's a beginning: All we need to do now is develop technology that enables us to withstand intense acoustic vibrations without instantly exploding in a mess of guts and shattered bone, and we'll finally be able to say goodbye to walking forever.
Meanwhile, here's a cool video of water and sodium locked in a levitating waltz:
"Beat this shit, David Blaine." -Science
You can find Steve doing awesome experiments turning letters into words in his Internet basement. Daniel has a blog, where he often creates "captured words."
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Related Reading: Modern science has also made quite a bit of black magic possible, including some straight up alchemy. Oh, and did you know water can explode all on its own? Well it can. For a scientific explanation of the tricks that freaked you out as a kid, read on.