However, with a novel approach to how acoustic beams work, doctors could soon use them to manipulate drug capsules throughout your body or remove floaters from your eyes.
Using these techniques in patients is still a long ways off. But a new study out of the University of Bristol in the UK, published in Physical Review Letters on Monday, suggests it can be done. The researchers outline a novel method for levitating objects with sound. A press release calls them "rapidly fluctuating acoustic vortices," similar to "tornadoes of sound," where a loud sound surrounds a silent core. An object can levitate in the center.
Using sound at an ultrasonic pitch the human ear can't detect, the researchers were able to levitate a two-centimetre polystyrene sphere using this method. Doesn't sound like much, but it's the most anyone's made float so far.