Scientists Reveal How Sound Can Levitate Objects

David Copperfield better watch out, scientists are throwing in a little magic into their experiments. If you’ve ever wondered just how Houdini could do it, then we may have an explanation for you.

According to Discover Magazine, scientists are now able to levitate objects solely using sound!

Although no magic tricks are required here, sound waves are proving themselves much stronger than we have ever seen them. Asier Mazo Perez from the University of Navarra in Spain, and Bruce Drinkwater from the University of Bristol, England achieved this innovative discovery. After countless attempts, the two scientists have managed to harness the physical force of sound waves allowing them to move tiny particles.

The scientific duo first started their research, which is now published in the journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, in order to aid with non-invasive surgeries. According to the source, the two researchers created a new algorithm that uses sound emitters to develop an acoustic field complex that is powerful enough to move multiple objects at once. Their first attempt was done using one-millimeter plastic beads, and was an immediate success!


Via Discover Magazine

Perez and Drinkwater both believe that this system can be used to create “mid-air displays” using physical pixels, and “acoustic tweezers,” then can, as mentioned, be used for non-invasive surgeries. The two researchers note how “acoustic devices are 100,000 times more efficient than optical systems,” deeming this discovering a major move in the world of medicine. Although there is much more work to be done when it comes to object levitation, the works of Perez and Drinkwater are one big step in the right direction.

The current experimental setup can handle up to 25 tiny particles at a given time in 3-D space. Although this may not be much as of now, it is only a matter of time before sound waves are capable of moving objects far bigger. In addition to moving physical objects, such as the beads, the researchers behind this project hope to be able to use this technique with water over the next year! We’re excited to see where this scientific discovery can take us in regards to sound and movement.


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