Gravity? BUSTED!

Gravity shmavity. Look up in the sky – It’s a bird!  It’s a plane.  No. it’s your neighbor on the way to work?

Go back 100 years and try to Skype your 20th Century friend in Europe that your Gravity Busting video blog post went viral, and, well,  the men in white coats may well come after you. Now look down the road with me a century or two at what seems equally impossible, and consider the possibilities. Will man fly?

 

I’m not talking gliding – like famed rock climber Dean Potter. Nor am I talking comedy, like Funny Man on Turkish TV. I’m talking about science and technology.  According to a post published yesterday in the Discover Magazine blog, “80 Beats,” “To keep droplets of liquid floating in midair, the device in the video above relies on a hum of sound just above the range of human hearing. This technology, called an acoustic levitator, suspends these tiny balls of liquid using two speakers that project sound waves in opposite directions, counteracting the force of gravity. ”

According to HowStuff Works.com, the acoustic levitator, which was developed by NASA to simulate Zero  Gravity, isn’t as simple as it sounds. For one thing, “The intensity of the sound must not overwhelm the surface tension of liquid droplets being levitated. If the sound field is too intense, the drop will flatten into a donut and then burst.”  Ouch!

For now, I prefer to defy gravity for a second or two on a roller coaster.

But . . . I can’t say I believe Man will never fly.

How about you?

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About robertstevenson

Dr. Robert Stevenson is an Associate Professor of Journalism and Director of Student Publications for the Department of Mass Communications and Theater at Lander University in Greenwood, SC. He received the Distinguished Faculty of the Year award for 2007-'08, and the Lander University Young Faculty Scholar Award in 2005-06. Stevenson also serves as chair of the Lander University American Democracy Project. First and Formost I am a dad of two wonderful boys.
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