Scientists Use Sound Waves to Cancel the Effect of Gravity

Sound Levitation

Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois have found a way to cancel the effect of gravity to levitate liquids without a container, using sound waves.

The discovery is beneficial for pharmaceutical research, as it allows liquid compounds to be studied while in their purest “amorphous” form, before evaporation starts the crystallization process. Evaporation starts as soon as a liquid comes in contact with the surface of a container.

Levitation is achieved by precisely aiming two sets of 22 KHz sound waves toward each other. A “standing wave” is formed at their intersection, creating enough acoustic force to overcome the force of gravity.