A University of Dundee research team led by Prof. Mike MacDonald has demonstrated that both levitation and twisting forces can be applied to an object by application of ultrasonic beams. This latest breakthrough is part of a wide-ranging U.K. research effort to develop a device not unlike the "sonic screwdriver" made famous by the TV series Doctor Who.
The sonic screwdriver has proven an indispensable piece of equipment for Doctor Who when battling Daleks, Cybermen and the Master. The fictional tool is capable of opening just about any lock known to man - or alien - and can fix a damaged TARDIS in a matter of seconds. Now engineers at Bristol University say a real-life version of the sci-fi screwdriver could be created that would use sonic technology to open locks and undo screws ... just don't expect to see one under the Christmas tree this year.