The Power of Sound: Acoustic Levitation

Japanese scientists Yoichi Ochiai, Jun Rekimoto and Takayuki Hoshi released a video of their levitation experiments that illustrate just how powerful noise can be.  The phenomenon at hand is three-dimensional mid-air acoustic manipulation or in simpler terms, acoustic levitation. Basically, this phenomenon can be described as the method of using sound waves in order to suspend small particles.

So, what exactly is acoustic levitation and how does it work? Let’s take a quick condensed look so you can get straight to the video and see for yourself just how cool of a concept it really is!

First and foremost, at the core of acoustic levitation is the idea that something intangible has the ability to lift objects. This happens by taking advantage of the properties of sound that cause solids, liquids and heavy gases to float. Sound has the ability to levitate objects either on Earth or in gas-filled enclosures in space.

In this video, there are four speakers that are surrounding an open square area that is about 21 inches wide. Standing waves are used to create an ultrasonic focal point in that space, which means that a suspending force is generated that can then trap particles and objects in mid-air. The objects are then moved by manipulation of the waves.

Here is the video of acoustic manipulation at work! Check it out!

Copyright Davison 2014