What if I were to tell you that hover cars already exist? Let me raise the stakes here. What if I were to tell you that hover cars have existed since the very first automobile was constructed? I’m sure you think I’m crazy, but I assure you that I’m not. My deep love for science fiction hasn’t finally scrambled my brain into believing every sci-fi fantasy has come true – though I will admit we’re pretty damn close!
So what do I mean when I say that hover cars have always existed? To explain myself you’ll first need to understand what is called the Pauli exclusion principle. In quantum mechanics this principle teaches us that no two identical fermions – i.e. electrons and protons – shall occupy the same space. Meaning, whenever an electron from one object comes close to another electron from a separate object, these two electrons never touch one another – they’re essentially repelled, or moved away in different directions.
Where there is matter there are atoms, and where there are atoms there are electrons…and protons, and neutrons. Each atom attains an electron shell, where different electrons stack together within the atom. This is the reality of all of matter. As you’re typing on your keyboard, you’re not actually touching any of the keys. Nor are you actually sitting on your chair, or bed, or couch…wherever! Technically, you’re floating. Congratulations.
But if the electrons within the keys of my keyboard and the electrons within my fingertips aren’t actually touching one another, how can I feel the keys? This is what is known as Coulomb’s law (or coulomb repulsion). As two electrically charged particles (read: electrons) come within close proximity of one another, an electrostatic force prevents them from ever getting close. Then again, when I say close, remember we’re talking about closeness at the atomic level. That’s still pretty damn close…but not close enough. This electrostatic force is what you’re feeling as it interacts with your nervous system.
Which then brings us to…*sound of dramatic cliché*…cars! Now that you understand the basic gist of both the Pauli exclusion principle and Coulomb’s law, it then shouldn’t be too hard to understand how, technically, the car that you drive everyday never actually touches the road. The mass of the electron shells which makes up the wheels of your car are merely being repeatedly repelled by the mass of electron shells that make up the entire road.
So, yes, every time you drive your car you’re actually floating above the road at the atomic level – you are driving a hover car! Granted they’re not like the hover cars in Back to the Future Part II, or The Fifth Element, but they are hovering nonetheless. So the next time you’re out and you come across a group of people, roll down your window and shout with pride, “I’M DRIVING A HOVER CAR!”