Scientists have been able to suspend small objects with ultrasonic sound waves for a long time. This was accomplished by sandwiching the object in a field of ultrasonic sound waves coming from all directions. A team from two universities have recently achieved a break through for a way to suspend and manipulate objects from just one side of the object. The scientists used a single-sided array of speakers to create high-intensity sound around the object creating essentially a force field. The researches were able to control the output to additionally create three different types of “acoustic force fields” including a field that works like a pair of tweezers, a spinning vortex and a cage to hold the object in place.
This could lead to 3D holograms of suspended particles or surgery requiring no incisions. At the moment, this technology is limited to the size of objects it can manipulate to plastic objects around 1 millimeter size.
The report can be found in the journal Nature Communications.
Source: Popular Mechanics