It seems that quantum physicists have found a way, at least on the micro and nano-level. But now that levitation is a fact in the world of tiny objects, macro-levitation can't be far behind.
The force is due to neither electrical charge or gravity, for example, but the fluctuations in all-pervasive energy fields in the intervening empty space between the objects. The physicists have found a way to manipulate this force so that it repels instead of attracts. Their discovery could ultimately lead to frictionless micro-machines with moving parts that levitate and the same theories could eventually be applied to human levitation.
This force causes problems for the nanotechnologists who build the electrical circuits and tiny mechanical devices found on silicon chips. The team believes the reversal of the Casimir force could initially be used to stop these tiny objects from sticking together.
Prof Leonhardt explained, “The Casimir force is the ultimate cause of friction in the nano-world, in particular in some microelectromechanical systems.
Such systems already play an important role in the tiny mechanical devices which trigger a car airbag to inflate or those which power tiny 'lab on chip’ devices used for drugs testing or chemical analysis.
Even more incredible, Prof Leonhardt leads one of four teams - three of them in Britain - to have put forward a theory in a peer-reviewed journal to achieve invisibility by making light waves flow around an object - just as a river flows undisturbed around a smooth rock.
For now I'll be grateful that because of the professor's research the air bag in my car will operate properly and feel secure in the knowledge that more fantastic advances are on the way.
Someday, maybe my grandchildren will levitate instead of sitting in desk at school and engage their invisibility cloaks to win a game of hide and seek.
What a miraculous and intelligent world we live in!