Acoustic Levitation: Levitating with Sound Waves

It's like airbending, but with science! Scientists at Argonne National Laboratory have created a technique to levitate droplets of water with sound waves:

The acoustic levitator uses two small speakers to generate sound waves at frequencies slightly above the audible range – roughly 22 kilohertz. When the top and bottom speakers are precisely aligned, they create two sets of sound waves that perfectly interfere with each other, setting up a phenomenon known as a standing wave.

At certain points along a standing wave, known as nodes, there is no net transfer of energy at all. Because the acoustic pressure from the sound waves is sufficient to cancel the effect of gravity, light objects are able to levitate when placed at the nodes.

Link - via Scientific American

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this is awesome. I work in the same building at Argonne where this experiment was put together. Today, a few scientists were setting up this same set-up, which will be used as one of the tour stops for the Argonne open house that is taking place tomorrow.
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