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Watch Sound Make A Liquid Droplet Levitate

A strong acoustic field can do some crazy things to a drop of liquid
Oct 08, 2015 at 1:37 PM ET
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Sound is already pretty neat. It helps us communicate, and the sound of music – however crappy – get us through all of those painful high school breakups. Turns out, sound can also do some pretty mind-boggling things to a drop of liquid.

Scientists from Clemson University used an ultrasonic wave to suspend a drop of liquid in midair. The acoustic environment flattens the liquid from its spherical shape, but the droplet’s surface tension allows it to stay intact. Now for the really neat part: They figured out how to manipulate the drop’s shape by increasing the strength of the acoustic field. In other words, the higher the frequency and amplitude of the waves, the more excited the drop would become. Increase the frequency too much though, and the drop completely loses surface tension and dissipates.

See the video below for more on this scientific sound phenomenon.