New YouTube Original explores the science behind levitation

Image credit: BBC Studios 

Imagine a world whereby wheels were no longer a necessity, where medicine can be hand-delivered within the body, where buildings rise above the ground during an earthquake. A world where gravity is optional. 

This hypothetical world might be closers than we think, as a TV presenter, author and podcast host Rick Edwards has discovered in a new YouTube Original out today. 

The Edge of Science follows Edwards and a team of popular YouTube creators, including inventor Colin Furze and MIT graduate Diana Cowern, as they attempt to achieve the seemingly impossible, human levitation. “Levitation is one of those things that seemingly everyone, scientifically-inclined or otherwise, has both a clear idea of and a strong sense that it’s solely the domain of illusions and trickery. That made it very appealing to me because I knew that there was some stuff out there that would really surprise people,” says Edwards. 

To achieve their goal of human levitation, in particular getting Edwards off the ground, the team explore how superconductor magnets, hoverboards and even sound could potentially lift Edwards into the air. “Being able to levitate in general is exciting because we’re one step closer to being Superman. It’s everyone’s favourite superpower, everyone wants to be able to fly,” says Colin Furze, a popular YouTuber known for his impressive mechanical creations and over 8.7 million followers.

On their journey to success, the team also uncovered how the future of levitation can achieve much more than a cool party trick. “Truthfully I went into this knowing nothing of the applications of levitation – I just thought it would be cool! But I quickly learned that the potential applications are huge. From ‘acoustic tweezers’ which might allow the precise delivery of drugs without the need to open someone up, to superconductor innovations which would revolutionise our energy efficiency,” says Edwards.   

Find out how Edwards and his team get on in their mission to beat gravity in the YouTube Original ‘How to levitate, The Edge of Science’ on BBC Earth’s YouTube channel now!   


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