PacSci-Doku: "Levitation Magic" Answer

By Dennis Schatz - Senior Vice President for Strategic Programs

The question in this edition is:

What will allow scientists to mix solutions in midair?

The answer: Sound Wave

Scroll down to see the solution.

The power of sound waves will allow scientists to keep drops of chemical solutions levitated in midair, so that the solutions can be mixed without contamination from touching the sides of a container. Sound waves don't seem that powerful, but they actually exert a slight pressure. If the sound is loud enough, the pressure can keep drops of a solution suspended. It takes a very loud sound, louder than the sound you'd hear when standing next to a jet engine during takeoff -- a sound that would rupture your eardrums if you didn't wear ear protection. But the scientists don't need earplugs because the pitch of sound used to produce the levitation is higher than the human can hear. The most likely use for this sonic levitation is in the pharmaceutical industry, where drugs can be mixed without being contaminated by the sides of the container.

Here is the solution:

pacsci-doku-levitation-magic-ans

The best way to keep up with PacSci-Doku, and everything happening at Pacific Science Center, is to subscribe to our free weekly newsletter. Just use the sign-up form below.