This remarkable video demonstration of acoustic levitation was discovered on YouTube by Jonathan Goldman. It’s quite extraordinary to see! Not only is the sound levitating the water, but it is also changing the shape of the droplet. Jonathan asked his friend and colleague Chuck Wilson if he could provide a brief explanation about what it is that is going on (since the video itself is silent). Here is his response:
This video is very interesting and educational on several levels. In order to understand what is going on, we need to comprehend certain concepts. To begin, the first concept is that sound can create form and influence forms to do things such as create shapes, be levitated, and become destroyed or chaotic. But how?
We are doing this by using a particular frequency or combination of frequencies or note that relates to that shape AND by changing the strength or volume. …. We all know that certain sounds in certain ranges or volumes can really bother you but maybe not somebody else. We are all constructed mostly of water but we have different densities, percentages of fat and different weights, so we are different as humans. Likewise, these water drops all have different characteristics. If we find these specific characteristics and apply the right frequency to it and vary the volume, we get things to happen.
Now let’s get to the video….
As the video starts, the water is being levitated by sound. The number of points or star shapes corresponds to the harmonic being played through the transducer (a speaker without a cone). We see its shape and then by increasing the volume it becomes unstable and breaks and is destroyed. This is like the theory in radiation treatment for cancer cells by exciting them so much they stretch, the cellular bonds break and the cancer cells are destroyed.
As the next harmonic is introduced we get a different shape. If we metaphorically use the note “C” as the first note that we see, the first harmonic of that C is also a C one octave higher. And the next or second harmonic is a G note. Each new harmonic creates a different shape. The ladder of harmonics for the first five harmonics is: C, C, G, C , E, Bb. However, these geometric multiples of the fundamental frequency continue much higher. This video is an amazing demonstration of how sound can not only levitate an object, but also shape and form it.
Awareness in Sound to You,