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Because it's Friday: Levitation with Sound Waves

No camera trickery here: engineers at the University of Tokyo have demonstrated how to levitate and move polystyrene particles using only sound waves (via Gizmodo).   The basic principle is fairly straightforward: pairs of speakers generate a standing wave (at ultrasonic frequencies) at a focus point, and the motion of the air molecules is enough to keep the particles suspended. With some clever engineering, by varying the phase of the sounds, the can move the focus point (and also the particles). Sadly, it's had to see how this could be scaled up to macro-sized objects though. That's all for this week! See you back here on the blog on Monday.

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More Stories By David Smith

David Smith is Vice President of Marketing and Community at Revolution Analytics. He has a long history with the R and statistics communities. After graduating with a degree in Statistics from the University of Adelaide, South Australia, he spent four years researching statistical methodology at Lancaster University in the United Kingdom, where he also developed a number of packages for the S-PLUS statistical modeling environment. He continued his association with S-PLUS at Insightful (now TIBCO Spotfire) overseeing the product management of S-PLUS and other statistical and data mining products.<

David smith is the co-author (with Bill Venables) of the popular tutorial manual, An Introduction to R, and one of the originating developers of the ESS: Emacs Speaks Statistics project. Today, he leads marketing for REvolution R, supports R communities worldwide, and is responsible for the Revolutions blog. Prior to joining Revolution Analytics, he served as vice president of product management at Zynchros, Inc. Follow him on twitter at @RevoDavid

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