TECH
16/07/2013 06:36 BST | Updated 16/07/2013 06:41 BST

Acoustic Levitation Could Work On Humans (But You Might Explode) (VIDEO)

Scientists are a step closer to reproducing a power previously only known to magicians, yogi and astronauts - levitation.

And it turns out sound waves are all that are required.

The acoustic levitation device uses resonators to a standing wave which if it has the correct frequency will cancel out the effect of gravity.

levitation

Currently only small droplets of material as dense as water can be levitated

While this has been achieved before a new system built by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology can move objects from side-to-side as well as make them hover.

The research team behind it illustrates this beautifully in the above video by combing water droplets with coffee and - the rather more violent - sodium.

The technology has great promise, the researchers insist. Unlike magnetic levitation which relies on objects being magnetically charged, acoustic levitation can in theory be used on anything - even, the team speculates, on humans.

There are however, some potential issues. The larger the object the bigger the amplitude of the sound required. Meaning that to life something as large as a person, you'd probably end up blowing them to pieces.

Dimos Poulikakos of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, Switzerland, said that he "sees no problem" with the principle of moving a human with sound.

But did add an ominous caveat:

"Whether a human being could survive the acoustic forces, I'm not 100 per cent sure."