Acoustic Levitation

We’ve all had the experience of sound thumping powerfully against our hearts — usually at a loud concert or near a construction site.

So we all know sound has strength.

But did we know it has the strength to lift objects?

The aspects of sound are vast and fascinating. And I’ll return to them often.

For now, I just want to share a recent discovery that, I think, truly demonstrates the magic of this often overlooked phenomenon.

Researchers in several countries have been working to create and expand acoustic levitation devices — devices that can lift and move objects solely using the “hands” of sound.

These sonic hands are created by focusing sound in ways that create areas of standing waves or nodes where gravity is overcome. Tiny objects placed within these nodes will hover and can be moved by manipulating the standing wave.

The two videos below demonstrate and explain this amazing technique.

What excites me the most about this discovery is not necessarily its applications for future technologies but that we had no idea the phenomenon even existed!

Think about it.

If we’re just discovering this ability of sound now, we can be sure nature has already put it to use. And she’s clearly done it in ways we have yet to detect.

So I can’t help but wonder — what other mysteries might acoustic levitation (or a similar effect) explain?

Is it possible that gravity will one day turn out to be the result of some focused, as-yet-discovered waves?

Are planets, then, held in their orbits via some type of standing waveform?

Of course such theoretical waves would have to be electromagnetic rather than mechanical in order to propagate in the vacuum of space. But still. The general concept of focused waves could apply.

And under what other circumstances — from the gigantic to the minuscule — might this phenomenon exert its influence?

The possibilities seem limitless.

See where your imagination goes when you watch the two videos below.