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Creating Gravity With Sound? Staff Writer

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Creating Gravity With Sound?
Sound Waves

Following the imaginations of science fiction writers, scientists have created the first sonic tractor beams that can lift and move objects. Though the sonic tractor beams currently move only small beads, the inventors believe sonic tractor beams can eventually:
- create fake gravity in space or underwater weightlessness;
- move and assemble delicate objects without physical contact; and
- move drug capsules, kidney stones, clots and miniscule surgical instruments within the human body.

Scientists from the Universities of Bristol and Sussex, teamed with a research company called Ultrahaptics, created an acoustic hologram that can pick up and move objects. An article detailing their creation is in “Nature Communications” online journal and can be accessed here:

According to the scientists, a hologram that can move objects was previously created with light, moving the target object closer to the laser beam controlling it. However, the laser used a great deal of power and only very small objects could be successfully moved.

The current team uses sound, which uses far less power but is far more powerful than the light-based hologram. To date, the scientists can levitate, rotate and otherwise move polystyrene beads as big as 4 millimeters in diameter. This is done by individually controlling 64 miniature loudspeakers that create the acoustic hologram around the object without physical contact. Individual operation of the miniscule loudspeakers enables the team to create acoustic force fields using only 9 watts of power and in the shapes of: a pair of fingers or tweezers; a vortex; or a cage.

Though a larger/stronger force field could manipulate far larger objects, the team is focusing on the benefits of making an even smaller force field to: create fake gravity that would overcome the disadvantages of weightlessness; revolutionize the manufacture of exceedingly delicate objects through force fields that could manipulate objects without touching them; and microsurgery with no incisions by manipulating drug capsules, kidney stones, blood clots and miniature surgical instruments within the body.

Further explanation and graphic of the new sonic tractor beams can be found on YouTube:

By Kathy Catanzarite

Source: Kathy Catanzarite - Writer

Note from This article is to be used as an educational guide only and should not be interpreted as a legal consultation. Readers of this article are advised to seek an attorney if a legal consultation is needed. Laws may vary by state and are subject to change, thus the accuracy of this information can not be guaranteed. Readers act on this information solely at their own risk. Neither the author,, or any of its affiliates shall have any liability stemming from this article.

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