Acoustic Levitation

As we’ve touched upon in OD Music Production 101 and at more length in OD Total Music Production, sound isn’t just a magic ‘thing’, it’s waves of energy that our brains make sense of when those waves vibrate the innards of our duffed up old ears.

Acoustic Levitation: Not Witchcraft

Here’s a smattering of science to explain what’s going on in the above video, which uses this principle in a pretty amazing way: acoustic levitation.

The acoustic levitator uses two small speakers to generate sound waves at frequencies slightly above the audible range – roughly 22 kilohertz. When the top and bottom speakers are precisely aligned, they create two sets of sound waves that perfectly interfere with each other, setting up a phenomenon known as a standing wave.

At certain points along a standing wave, known as nodes, there is no net transfer of energy at all. Because the acoustic pressure from the sound waves is sufficient to cancel the effect of gravity, light objects are able to levitate when placed at the nodes.

Well, there you go. Simple. Some would have you believe that this principle is how the pyramids were made, although I’m a little skeptical; Funktion One sound systems haven’t been around quite that long. Or, wait, have they? Maybe the Egyptians did create pyramids with acoustic levitation, and there’s been a cover up surrounding the amazing speaker technology they used to create it!

…Or maybe I’ve been watching too much Sci-fi channel lately.

More here!


  • Mark Settle

    I was looking at pictures of the new Samsung phone today. I thought it would be really impressive if it could hover on my desk and allow me to push it around like air hockey. Perhaps in the future it can.

    • Chris

      Anything that makes air hockey a more accessible sport (and it *is* a sport) is alright by my book.

  • AfroDJMac

    wow that is amazing. I like your connection to the ancient pyramids! nice find!

  • Rhapz

    I once saw a documentary that touched on this a bit in an attempt to show how intergalactic travel could be conceived. They did say the Egyptians had help with the pyramids ;)

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