Researchers are Levitating Polystyrene Balls Using Sound Waves

By: Joey Haar - Aug 15, 2016
References: & gizmodo
Styrofoam is a miraculously light material, but levitating styrofoam takes that miracle to the next level. Researchers from the University of Sao Paulo and Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh have been able to cause a two-inch polystyrene sphere to levitate with the use of sound waves.

The project, which has been published in Applied Physics Letters, takes advantage of sound's wavelength to create the levitating styrofoam. If a sound stays at a regular frequency, its wavelength stays in exactly the same place. Using this principle, the researchers sent out three identical frequencies from three evenly dispersed ultrasonic transducers, causing the ball to float at the midway point of the sound's first wave.

Though the project used sonic waves to create levitation, the waves were well beyond the range of human hearing.