Research

Ultrasonic Levitation of Drops

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This video shows an ultrasonically levitated 3 mm drop of propylene glycol changing shape. A couple of things are happening here. Firstly, the drop is suspended due to the acoustic radiation pressure from intense ultrasonic sound waves being produced by a transducer vibrating at 30kHz. Then the power input to the ultrasonic transducer is increased, which strengthens the acoustic field, and this is what causes the drop to flatten. Currently, acoustic levitation is used for containerless processing of very pure materials or chemicals. As with many methods for levitation, it is currently restricted to objects of relatively light weight. (Video credit: J. R. Saylor et al, Clemson University)

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