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What is acoustic levitation?

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Quick Answer

Acoustic levitation utilizes the properties of sound to lift solids, heavy gases and liquids. It is a scientific phenomenon that levitates and moves objects in mid-air. The principles of acoustic levitation revolve around the relationship between gravity, air and sound.

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Full Answer

Gravity is a force that attracts objects to one another. Isaac Newton’s law of universal gravitation states that the larger an object is, the more strongly it attracts other objects and that the closer objects are, the stronger their attraction.

Air is a fluid made of microscopic particles that move in relation to each other.

Sound, the third component of acoustic levitation, is a vibration that travels through a medium, such as a liquid, gas or a solid object. The source of sound stems from a moving or shifting object. Sound travels by reacting with moving molecules around it. Sound could not travel without moving molecules, which is why sound does not exist in a vacuum. Sound is a disturbance in an object that shifts energy from one point to another.

Acoustic levitation utilizes the movement of sound through a medium, typically a gas, to counter the effects of gravity. In theory, acoustic levitation can be used on any object. The most substantial limitation with the science is that the object’s diameter must correspond to roughly half the wavelength of the corresponding sound wave.

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