This Breakthrough in Tractor Beam Tech Could Pave The Way to Levitating Humans

We're excited.

This Breakthrough in Tractor Beam Tech Could Pave The Way to Levitating HumansIn a sci-fi feeling first, engineers at the University of Bristol used the world’s most powerful acoustic tractor beam to demonstrate that it’s possible to stably contain objects larger than the wavelength of sound.

In other words, they were able to levitate objects notably larger than what’s ever been possible before; a feat that theoretically opens up the potential of one day levitating humans.

Acoustic tractor beams use sound, or more specifically sound-waves, to hold particles in mid-air. While magnetic levitation also exists, acoustic levitation tends to work better for handling liquids and solids.

It was previously believed that acoustic tractor beams were limited to levitating relatively small objects; only those approximately the same size as a wavelength of the sound.

In fact, it was believed to be fundamentally impossible to levitate larger objects without losing stability, causing them to spin uncontrollably.

This Breakthrough in Tractor Beam Tech Could Pave The Way to Levitating Humans1
The concept of an acoustic tractor beam levitating a spherical object. | University of Bristol

The study, to be published this week in Physical Review Letters, describes the new technique, which creates a tornado-like structure that is extremely loud but has a silent core.

The researchers found that when they changed the direction of the rapidly fluctuating acoustic vortices that make up this structure, they could control the rate of rotation and stabilise the tractor beam.

See also | Sony Patents Contact Lens That Records What You See

Once the beam was stabilized, the team could increase the size of the silent core at the center of this “sound tornado”, which allowed it to hold larger objects.

Asier Marzo, the lead author on the paper from Bristol’s Department of Mechanical Engineering, said that “Acoustic researchers had been frustrated by the size limit for years, so its satisfying to find a way to overcome it.”

Levitating humans

In the demonstration detailed in the study, the engineers used ultrasonic waves at a pitch of 40kHz to make up the acoustic vortices. The structure’s silent core was able to hold a two-centimeter sphere made out of a synthetic polymer.

The sphere is more than two times the size of the acoustic wavelengths, making it the largest object that’s been stably held in a tractor beam thus far.

While it might look and feel a bit like magic, the team believes harnessing the technique could have many practical applications.

Bruce Drinkwater, Professor of Ultrasonics from the Department of Mechanical Engineering, who supervised the work, said he’s “particularly excited by the idea of contactless production lines where delicate objects are assembled without touching them.”

Marzo concurred, “I think it opens the door to many new applications.” Some of which might include creating medical devices, like drug capsules or micro-surgical implements.

For those who are wondering about the possibility of levitating something – or perhaps, someone – a great deal larger than a two-centimeter sphere, Mihai Caleap, a Senior Research Associate who developed the simulations, added that “In the future, with more acoustic power, it will be possible to hold even larger objects.

This was only thought to be possible using lower pitches making the experiment audible and dangerous for humans.”

Of course, Caleap isn’t saying that the simulations are proof humans could be levitated with the existing technology.

What the study does show is that high pitches (far above what humans can hear) can successfully be used in acoustic tractor beams and objects larger than a sound wavelength can be stably levitated.

Working with higher pitches, larger objects, and more stability, the only way for the research to go from here is up.

Sourcefuturism

Find us here

Get news from the CSGLOBE in your inbox each weekday morning

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors/source and do not necessarily reflect the position of CSGLOBE or its staff.

Paid content

This Man One Ups Tesla By Inventing An Electric Car That Never Needs Charging

The concept of the electric car has been around for a very long time, and as with any other world revolutionizing technology, it’s taken...

The 10 Biggest Dangers Posed By Future Technology

It’s not easy predicting the future of technology. In the fifties it seemed a pretty much foregone conclusion that by 2015 we would all...

Did we discover “Alien technology” and reverse-engineer it?

A lot of people have wondered ever since the first reported UFO crash, if we had come into contact with Alien technology. Highly advanced technology...

What's New Today

Georgia House Votes To Allow Citizens To Abolish Police Departments In The State

The Georgia House backed an effort on Friday to dissolve the Glynn County Police Department and any...

Leaked CDC document contradicts Pence claim that U.S. coronavirus cases ‘have stabilized’

Even as Vice President Mike Pence wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed published Tuesday that coronavirus...

Five bombshells about Trump from Bolton ‘s book

Excerpts from former national security adviser John Bolton ’s book about his time in the Trump administration...

Don’t Listen to Fox. Here’s What’s Really Going On in Seattle’s Protest Zone.

It seems I live in a city undergoing a “totalitarian takeover” that will lead to “fascist outcomes”...

MOST READ

Complete List of BANKS Owned/Controlled by the Rothschild Family

What’s the significance of having a central bank within a country and why should you concern yourself, your family and colleagues? Central banks are illegally...

What Is Agenda 21? Depopulation of 95% of the World By 2030

Most people are unaware that one of the greatest threats to their freedom may be a United Nations program which plans to depopulate 95%...

China Is Turning The Rainforest Into Cheap Furniture For The U.S.

Driven by American demand for cheap furniture, China has become the greatest importer of illegal timber. The...

This Man One Ups Tesla By Inventing An Electric Car That Never Needs Charging

The concept of the electric car has been around for a very long time, and as with any other world revolutionizing technology, it’s taken...

6 Technologies That Most People Haven’t Even Heard About Yet

We live at a time when technology is advancing at an exponential pace. Are you ready for the future? Today, scientists are rapidly developing bizarre new...

Simulation Shows Time Travel Is Possible

Is time travel possible? Australian scientists created a computer simulation in which quantum particles can move back in time. This might confirm the possibility of...

Scientists invent Nanotechnology that Connects your Brain to your Computer

A new science fiction technology has just been invented that will allow you to wirelessly interface with your computer straight from your brain. “In the...

The Man Who Studies The Spread of Ignorance

In 1979, a secret memo from the tobacco industry was revealed to the public. Called the Smoking and Health Proposal, and written a decade...

Drug and Medical Device Corporations Bribe Doctors and Hospitals $3.5 Billion To Get Customers

The crimes that are committed in the shadows are getting pretty absurd nowadays. We do not even know who to trust- be it our Governments, the State...

Norway Is Set To Build The World’s First Underwater Floating Tunnel

The Norwegian coast may be beautiful but with more than a thousand fjords cutting into it, getting from one place to another often requires...

Alien-Obsessed Student Disappears, Leaving Behind Room Full of Strange Writings

A UFO enthusiast who mysteriously vanished last week left behind a den plastered wall-to-wall with Illuminati codes and symbols. The psychology student, Bruno Borges, 24,...