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Acoustic Levitation: The Uplifting Power of Sound

By James Beattie | January 3, 2014 | 4:35pm EST

Japanese scientists have released footage of acoustic levitation experiments that demonstrate the uplifting power of sound.

In this video, Yoichi Ochiai, Jun Rekimoto, and Takayuki Hoshi demonstrate acoustic levitation, which utilizes the properties of sound to cause solids, liquids and heavy gases to float.

As shown in the video, four phased arrays make an ultrasonic focal point, which is generated at an arbitrary position.

The standing waves provide suspending force under gravity.  The potential energy distribution is generated by the standing waves.

In the first demonstration using dry ice, the standing waves provide suspending force under gravity.

Particles are trapped in nodes of the standing waves in a horizontal setup, then trapped in nodes of the standing waves.  The particles are three-dimensionally manipulated in mid-air.

A variety of levitated objects are also shown, including various pieces of electrical material, wood, a screw, a nut, plastic, and soap droplets. The video notes that the workspace is touchable and open air.

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