Tuesday, 18 Nov, 2008 Science

Scientist Made Droplets Dance


Firstly it is worth mentioning that the most important fluids in our body are blood, sweat and tears, these being able to answer many questions regarding our health. However, it is very important to take tests of these fluids without contaminating them. For some time, scientists contemplated on how to test fluids more effectively, lowering the risk of their contamination.

The official website of the Institute of Physics informs that a team of scientists from the University of Liege, Belgium, is currently working on the publication of their research in the "New Journal of Physics." Their research shows the way laboratory technicians are able to make droplets dance, float and bounce on top of a surface, thus keeping tiny amounts of fluid free of contamination and ready for testing.

The idea of acoustic levitation came several years ago. It could keep a droplet apart from its environment, but the equipment necessary to make the experiment was very sophisticated and extremely expensive. In 2005 scientists managed to come up with a new technique. It was then that a physicist noticed that certain bass notes generated by his iPod speaker were able to make droplets "roll" and dance.

The new method can be used for a wide range of fluids. In addition, the new technique can be used for droplets of different size, the fact that makes it more useful for specialists working in the field of chemistry and biology, as well as in food industry. Physicists managed to come up with a rather simple method, which doesn't need sophisticated machinery. They release droplets over a bath of oil that is vertically shaken. Under specific conditions of vibration and droplet dimension, droplets will float and dance.

In their scientific work, researchers wrote that in the miniaturization age, the management of small amounts of liquid becomes very important for chemical, biological and food industries, as well as for health science. "The technique we propose allows the manipulation of droplets without any contact with another liquid or solid. The droplets bounce, float and move into the air," they write.

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