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The Science of How Modern Hoverboards Work

Here we are, it’s 2015, and we have hoverboards…for real! In less than three decades since Back to the Future II made them inseparable from pop culture conceptions of the future, hoverboards are here right when the movie said they would arrive. Modern hoverboards aren’t as common as skateboards, like they were in Marty’s future, but to date we have at least two working hoverboards that have captured the public’s imagination. Everyone still wants to be McFly.

In my latest Because Science, I’m going through the science of the two hoverboards to burst onto the scene this year: Hendo and Lexus. They both use magnets to rise their riders, but in two distinct ways. Hendo uses magnetic flux and Lenz’s law to float above conductive surfaces, while Lexus leverages superconductors to ride on a magnetic rail.

Check out my last video on how many calories are in the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man monster, subscribe to this playlist to stay current with the show, buy a Because Science shirt, and follow me on Twitter to give me a suggestion for the next episode!

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