Human levitation and Star Trek-style tractor beams on horizon as scientists crack how to suspend large objects

  • In my day some natch blow and come and see my camera obscura

A 2cm ball hovered without moving CREDIT: UNIVERSITY OF BRISTOL

22 JANUARY 2018 • 6:00AMHuman levitation and Star Trek style tractor beams and have moved a step closer after scientists proved they can stably hold a large object suspended in mid-air, using only sound.
Researchers have been trying for decades to trap objects using only the power of sound but it has always proved impossible to hold an item steady if it was larger than the wavelength of the sound.
Objects inevitably ended up spinning uncontrollably and eventually shooting away from the beams, after picking up the movement of the rotating sound field.
But now engineers from the University of Bristol say they have solved the problem. Instead of using a spinning field of sound to hold an object in place, they have built a device which turns to soundwaves into mini tornadoes.