Acoustic Levitation?

I want to know if anyone knows a way to do this at home. Acoustic levitation is a way to levitate objects in space using sound waves. That site gave a very thorough explanation of how it works, but not how to do it. If someone knows how, I'd love to see an instructable.

Picture of Acoustic Levitation?
sort by: active | newest | oldest
1-10 of 24Next »
Yonatan2410 months ago

What about Bismuth and magnets? Google it.

AviKado10 months ago

I'd like to just clarify a few things I've read here. Firstly, the diagrams that seem to illustrate a "figure 8" with the particle in the loop assumes you already have a notion of how sound actually works. Sound doesn't truly travel through air as a vibration travels down a string (with an "S" shape), like these diagrams illustrate. Sound is a longitudinal wave. It is a compression of air travelling away from the speaker. The sin wave diagrams that you see all the time describing sound traveling through space just illustrate at what distance from the source you'd find high pressure and low pressure (curved) planes. So in the diagram, when it shows the particle suspended in a loop, this really means the particle is suspended in a low pressure plane sandwiched between two planes of higher pressure. Naturally, things like to be pushed away from higher pressure towards lower pressure. Thus levitation.

Another point, it has been mentioned multiple times that the wave needs to be quite strong to produce significant levitation, bit that doesn't necessarily mean you need a huge amplifier and specially made speakers. If you generate a standing wave, by definition, you are achieving resonance. At resonance, a wave can be greatly amplified. This would lower the actual amount of power you need to be pumping into the air. I haven't looked into the details here, so maybe these figures already took that into account, but given that someone mentioned they were able to do it with their voice, i don't think you need 150 DBs for a small object. Furthermore, the object geometry should come into play. If you had a very light object with a relatively large surface area perpendicular to the wave (a small piece of paper) i would imagine that you wouldn't need as much pressure.

Also, this guy seems to have done it with a small device:

JeffreyB431 year ago

Sound waves are not waves as you normally think... like little lines of wiggly waves... there are in fact little there's much more to this than you imagine. For further insight, google: john stuart reid - photographing sound, and from there follow your next instincts with regards to researching "how to levitate objects"

Sandisk1duo8 years ago
umm, i don't recommend you do this, you will probably kill yourself, you need a bunch of power, speakers that go up to 600khz at 155db+

bottom line: don't even attempt this

It is pathetic and ignorant to think the way you do. It is possible without electricity, let alone your jumbo speakers. Now, on the other hand he could kill himself by attempting to break apart and move a megalithic slab. Bottom line: Everyone should attempt the unfathomable depths of ancient (or I suppose to someone like you, future) technology. We can create a much better world using energy and vibration. Trial and error is a key.

This isn't necessarily true in all cases. I have done a demonstration for my family using my voice and a small square of flat paper on a smooth flat surface. In order to lift the paper you need to hit the correct vocal pitch. At first I thought it was my breath but after doing the experiment multiple times using various pitches and breath patterns and force I concluded the resulting lift to truly be an inexpensive legitimate demonstration of Acoustic levitation. Give it a try and see for yourself.
ultrauber (author)  Sandisk1duo8 years ago
Good to know.
but 155dB and more is not only ear destroying but also quite power-consuming.
And such loud systems tend to be dangerous since if you forget the proper ear-protection if you start, you propably dont need to worry over ear-protection in the future ever again...
600Hz, not 600kHz.
I have see this done a number of difrent ways in most cases it is not the sound but rather the air the sound is moving getting under the object and lifting it. I have seen a person use a speaker and a sheet of paper cut to look like butterflys levitate the butterflys.
1-10 of 24Next »