The Levitators

A dedicated international team of undergraduate physicists & physics professors, engineers and industry experts. As part of the European Space Agency Spin Your Thesis! 2021 programme, we aim to investigate the effect of gravity on Near-Field Acoustic Levitation and improve the understanding of the phenomenon.

In particular, determining the theory that best encompasses acoustic levitation; the force profile for acoustic levitation over distance, potentially including an attractive acoustic force, and investigate its behaviour in hypergravity.


Acoustic levitation in Hypergravity

Making use of the Large Diameter Centrifuge of the European Space Agency their ESTEC facility, the nature and potential of acoustic levitation will be investigated in artificially induced hypergravity up to 20 G.

Image of the LDC at the ESA ESTEC facility

Near-Field Acoustic Levitation


At micrometer distances from the acoustic element, incredible pressures can be achieved, allowing for the levitation of larger, planar objects.


European Space Agency logo

European Space Agency

Specifically ESA Education & ESA Academy.

The main collaborator of the project, enabling access to the LDC, funding for the project, training and continuous expert support.

UKSA logo

UK Space Agency

UKSA has granted us a large endorsement, making them one of our main and vital sponsors to the project.


ALTHEN Sensors and Controls

ALTHEN is the supplier our two most important sensors and have provided us with a substantial endorsement, covering the cost of these components.

Durham University logo

Durham University

Specifically the Physics department and Josephine Butler & Stephenson College.

Our base of operations; the Physics department has provided us with laboratories and equipment to develop our experimental set-up, expert help from (endorsing) professors and outreach opportunities. The colleges have provided us with funding.

ELGRA logo

European Low Gravity Research Association

Specifically the Student arm of ELGRA, called SELGRA.

SELGRA provides an expert in the field of gravity-related research to aid our project.

Novatech logo


If you are interested in getting involved with our research and would like to learn more about what we do please contact us via email at:

and visit our Outreach page to learn more about our communication with the academic and general community.

Project Progress

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