Levitation May Help Make Better Drugs: Levitation, it's not just for Harry Potter anymore.
The Argonne National Laboratory has found a way to make drugs that don't sit in petri dishes, test tubes, or on any surface at all, really.
These droplets of potential pharmacuticals are suspended in the air, not by magic, but by sound waves.
The device, called an Acoustic Levitator, was "developed for NASA to simulate microgravity conditions," says PhysOrg.
It works by shooting inaudible sound waves from two juxtaposed speakers. When the speakers are precisely aligned, the waves collide and create "nodes" where the effect of gravity is essentially cancelled out. Without gravity, these small drops can be left to float at these nodes, and scientists can experiment with the drugs without any outside contact.