High-Speed Footage of Floating Water Drops Looks Like a Fireworks Show

By Andrew Liszewski on at

You’ve probably seen those experiments where scientists are able to levitate foam balls, or tiny drops of water, using nothing but ultrasonic sound waves. It’s utterly mesmerising to watch something just float in mid-air, but magnitudes cooler when filmed with a camera recording at 20,000 frames per second.

Smarter Every Day’s Destin Sandlin recently had the opportunity to bring both an acoustic levitation device and a pair of Phantom high-speed cameras together to create some amazing high-speed footage. As the ultrasonic sound waves keeping the drops afloat are adjusted, it changes the pressure which eventually causes the drops to burst. To the naked eye it’s over in a flash, but through the lens of a high-speed camera running at 20,000 frames per second the results are more like a Fourth of July fireworks extravaganza.