Researchers Make A Breakthrough In Moving Small Objects Using Acoustics

Posted: Sep 11 2016, 4:38pm CDT | by , Updated: Sep 11 2016, 4:43pm CDT, in News | Latest Science News


Researchers Make a Breakthrough in Moving Small Objects Using Acoustics
Researchers move multiple objects simultaneously on a metal plate by playing a carefully chosen melody. Credit: Quan Zhou / Aalto University
  • Scientists are engaged in Moving Small Objects via the Science of Acoustics

Scientists of Aalto University have made a breakthrough in controlling the motion of multiple small objects on a vibrating plate with a single acoustic source.

Researchers have discovered a method of controlling the movements of many objects through a single acoustic source. The objects are placed on a vibrating plate.

In 1878, sand moving on a vibrating plate was noticed by the father of acoustics. When the plate vibrates at a certain frequency, the objects on it move towards certain nodal lines which are in synch with the frequency.

The view has always been in vogue that particle motion is haphazard and in accordance with the law of chance.  

Yet away from the nodal lines, the movement can be charted. To achieve some control over the objects is something which is not impossible. It depends upon the actuator.

This has been sort of like setting a record for controlling objects via a single actuator. The objects are placed on the plate. Then a tracking camera records their movements.

On the basis of the movements, a particular music is played in order to move the objects in a specific manner. Via this method, the control and dance of movements of the objects are brought closer in synch with the notes that are played. 

This sort of technique is honed to a razor blade. Only then does it match the movements of the objects on the plate. It is finetuned to the nth degree. It is all a bit like the objects dancing to the tune of the music.

Among the long list of objects that can be moved in this manner are: electrical components, water droplets, seeds, candy balls and metal parts. Especially this sort of technology has applications in microchip making.

The small amounts of molten liquids on these microchips can be handled via this method. Maybe one fine day, humankind can use this methodology to move objects floating on the surface of a lake or pond. 

The findings of this research got published in the journal Nature Communications.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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