The movement of levitated objects - here a toothpick - is possible by varying the acoustic waves of several parallel emitter-reflector modules (Photo: Daniele Foresti / ETH Zurich)
This toothpick flies and rotates on acoustic waves (Photo: Daniele Foresti / ETH Zurich)
With the exception of magic, the process of levitating objects generally relies on magnetism or electric fields. However, sound waves can also be used to cancel out the effects of gravity to suspend objects and droplets of liquid in mid air. For the first time, researchers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH) have been able to control the movement of such levitating objects. Besides looking cool, the technology has implications for the study of various chemical reactions and biological processes and the development and production of pharmaceuticals and electronics.
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