Thanks to the power of sound, flying humans that defy gravity might just be the future’s next big thing. For what purpose, you may ask? We don’t know yet, we just know that it’d be really freaking cool.
The University of Bristol recently discovered that it’s possible to trap objects larger than the wavelength of sound in acoustic tractor beams, in other words, making them levitate.
“Acoustic researchers had been frustrated by the size limit for years, so it’s satisfying to find a way to overcome it. I think it opens the door to many new applications.”
“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.”
While the research is still long ways off from making humans levitate, it is something that’s currently being discussed. Researchers believe that with more acoustic power, the beam will be able to hold larger objects, facilitating different jobs, such as contactless production lines where delicate objects can be assembled without having to be touched.
For now, the largest object the tractor beam has been able to levitate is a two-centimeter polystyrene sphere, which sounds pretty tiny.