Science and technology can create amazing advancements. Acoustic levitation, for example, is a new discovery that allows small objects to levitate between two speakers. The two speakers emit 22-kilohertz frequencies at each other. The acoustic pressure cancels out the gravity between the two speakers, allowing small objects, liquids, and gasses to hover in midair.

Levitation has the potential to greatly advance medical and pharmaceutical testing. Hovering could help doctors evaporate excess moisture without touching anything. Levitating particles could be precisely mixed together into concentrated medicines, and levitating particles can be stabilized in space to make experiments in gas filled enclosures safer.

What can be exciting is that acoustic levitation can take place on earth or in gas-filled enclosures in space. On earth, it can cause objects to hover in mid-air; in space, it can hold objects steady so they don’t move or drift.

The applications of this technology are astounding. Argonne National Lab notes that their acoustic levitation device can provide a better, safer, and stable environment for medical fabrication. Their device will allow scientists to precisely mix chemicals at any specific degree. The space created by acoustic levitation is contaminant-free, reducing disruptions in scientific results. The Argonne National Lab is already using an acoustic levitation device to keep droplets of medicine rotating, allowing researchers to conduct experiments before the liquid crystallizes.

There is also evidence that the acoustic levitation devices can be modified to levitate objects larger then acoustic wavelengths. Research by Marco Andrade and Julio Adamowski at the University of São Paulo in Brazil, along with Anne Bernassau at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, UK, concludes that three ultrasonic transducers arranged in a tripod fashion produce a standing wave in the space between the transducers and the sphere, as opposed to being trapped between two pressures of a standing wave.

As advancements in acoustic levitation continue, scientists will be able to work with finer and finer chemical reactions, which could lead to significant advances in pharmaceutical science and many other fields.


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