Give these dancing water droplets a stage.
While researchers have demonstrated similar spectacles before -- the process is called acoustic levitation -- the Clemson team took the experiment a step further and influenced the shape of the water drops.
How did they do it?
The team explains in their pre-published research that when a drop of water is positioned within an acoustic field, the pressure exerted on it creates a flattened spherical shape. The water droplet levitates when multiple sound waves with the same frequency interfere with each other and create a standing wave, causing anything within the acoustic field to be suspended. To mold the shape of the water droplet, researchers used an ultrasonic standing wave to manipulate the field by increasing/decreasing the strength and changing the frequency. The end result is pretty mesmerizing.
As New Scientist notes, the levitating water research will be presented at the American Physical Society's Division of Fluid Dynamics meeting in November.