This blog post is a little different than my “normal” posts which typically focus on either The Matrix trilogy or sunglasses – especially Matrix sunglasses. But this concept is so jaw-dropping that I just had to share it with you today. The concept is called acoustic levitation and it uses an assortment of sound waves to actually levitate liquid droplets. Who says science is boring? Yes, you really have to see this to believe it! Watch a short video demo of this effect here:
Acoustic levitation utilizes 2 small, precisely-aligned speakers that generate non-audible sound waves. These sound waves enable “standing waves” which contain nodes where no energy is transferred. It is on these nodes where the effect of gravity is essentially neutralized, which allows very lightly-weighted droplets or particles to levitate.
The concept was developed by the US Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory in an effort to enhance the production of better and more efficient pharmaceutical products. Of course you probably have the same question I initially did – that is, what the heck does levitation have to do with drug development? Well, without getting all scientific on you, it has to do with the dynamics of certain pharmaceuticals at the molecular level and how these dynamics influence the body’s ability to absorb them.
Pharmaceuticals fall into 2 main categories: amorphous and crystalline. Amorphous drugs are more easily absorbed into the body than crystalline varieties, yet most drugs on the market fall into the second category. Because crystalline varieties are less easily absorbed, you need to take a higher dosage to achieve the desired effect. Since maximizing the efficiency of pharmaceuticals is a key goal within the industry, amorphous versions are preferred. But it is much more difficult to create this type, and that’s where the process of acoustic levitation comes into play. For the nitty gritty details on how this works, click here.
The bottom line is that science is cool, and this demo proves it! This is definitely something you’d expect to see in The Matrix, not in real life, but lo and behold here it is! So put on your Neo or Morpheus sunglasses and check out the fascinating demonstration right now. Enjoy!