Scientists Levitate Objects With Sound

levitation-with-sound

Yoichi Ochiai, Takayuki Hoshi and Jun Rekimoto – scientists at the University of Tokyo – have created a way to levitate objects, in a very precise way, using sound.

An ultrasound standing wave is capable of suspending small particles at its sound pressure nodes. This method has been used previously to levitate lightweight particles, small creatures, and water droplets.

The new system uses a three-dimensional array of speakers, allowing for controlled levitation & movement of objects.

Here’s a demo of the three-dimensional acoustic levitation in action:

Technical details:

The acoustic axis of the ultrasound beam in previous studies was parallel to the gravitational force, and the levitated objects were manipulated along the fixed axis (i.e. one-dimensionally) by controlling the phases or frequencies of bolted Langevin-type transducers. In the present study, millimetre-sized particles were levitated and moved three-dimensionally by localized ultrasonic standing waves, which were generated by ultrasonic phased arrays.

The new manipulation system has two original features:

  • One is the direction of the ultrasound beam, which is arbitrary because the force acting toward its centre is also utilised.
  • The other is the manipulation principle by which a localised standing wave is generated at an arbitrary position and moved three-dimensionally by opposed and ultrasonic phased arrays.

Check it out and let us know what you think of this!

via Angelo

19 thoughts on “Scientists Levitate Objects With Sound

    1. We’ve known this for thousands of years. It’s how they built the pyramids. By placing certain crystals in certain formations, they generate waves that can do a lot more amazing things other than levitating objects. God is awesome! Keep ur nose out the bible and you’ll start seeing his awesomeness.

      1. 🙂 aww come on, you know that’s ridiculous. these are audio created pressure waves; not nuclear blast shock waves. it is much more efficient to lift things by simply making contact with them (and whipping people to make that happen!).

        this video specifically shows that they are focusing the sounds (pressure waves) so that they cancel in between the send and return anti-nodes; where they draw the wave going over in one direction, and carefully timed to go under it on its way back. the part that is impressive is tuning it well enough to compensate for the object drop due to gravity. it’s an example of how much you can do with really accurate timing.

    2. Wow, very interesting… could this also be the same principle behind the Hutchinson Effect? It also uses waves but radio frequency waves emitted by a few tesla coils bumped up toward 500,000 volts… apparently experiments found object floating much like the acoustic levitation 🙂 😉

  1. So is this why every goddam EDM song has lyrics about the music taking me higher?

    Seriously, enough with the ‘getting higher/taking me higher/lifting me higher’ lyrics. We get it.

  2. I’m still waiting (hoping?) for non-US “real scientists” to apply the controllable 3D standing wave principles to Radio Waves instead of audio/ultrasonic ones (like presented here).

    Applying precise control of low-freq radio standing waves could be what “The Hutchison Effect” is/was but John Hutchison was unable to understand, know, explain or investigate further, maybe because the (US) feds took all his chaotically built contraptions, keeping the “his a lunatic” notion whenever his name came up.

  3. We’ve known this for thousands of years. It’s how they built the pyramids. By placing certain crystals in certain formations, they generate waves that can do a lot more amazing things other than levitating objects. God is awesome! Keep ur nose out the bible and you’ll start seeing his awesomeness.

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