2016 University of Bristol (BEng), 2020 University of Bristol (PhD)
IB Diploma (43/45 Points), BEng (1st, Hons), AMIMechE, PhD
Like a battery lighting up the light bulb with energy, a sound is also a form of energy. It can be used not only to talk to each other but harvested in a way to levitate object in mid-air. This technology is called Acoustic Levitation, and I am a specialist in this field. We can levitate small objects like polystyrene balls (Image 1), or larger balls (Image 2, about 20 mm, breaking the current world record! I helped to make this levitator for BBC Original Series https://youtu.be/xDyJkFehDk0). Explaining how the acoustic levitation is quite difficult. But in a nutshell, you ‘trap’ the particle inside a region with high acoustic pressure amplitude. A particle sits in the quiet region, and if the particle tries to go out of this region, a wall made of loud sound prevents them from leaving the area.
My background is in Mechanical Engineering, and many people use it to solve how the car or airplane move. But, I decided to apply my knowledge to study how these particles move when it is being levitated. This is a completely new field and I am one of the few experts in the world about acoustic levitation.
You might be now wondering what the point of a levitating object in mid-air might be. Levitating objects in mid-air open up new opportunities that we have never seen before. Chemists and Biologists are excited about it because people can levitate chemicals in mid-air and mix them without using any containers (great advantage because beakers and testing tubes are often contaminated), and you might even be able to assemble things in mid-air.
But the possibility that you might not have imagined before is making holograms like the ones you see on Star Wars and Iron Man. All displays, including the ones on your computer or smartphone, works by using the ‘after image’ effect on your eyes. If we can levitate object in mid-air and move it very quickly in the air whilst illuminating it with colorful light, we can render image in mid-space. I developed the first prototype that creates hologram using acoustic levitation (Image 3), and I am working hard to find ways to make it more accessible such that everybody can use it at home.
I am a levitation engineer, working to make magic happen.
I was born in a small city in Japan called Oita, and I lived there until I was 9 years old. I moved to Frankfurt, Germany, and graduated from high school with International Baccalaureate. After that, I moved to Bristol for an undergraduate degree, and I have been living in Bristol for 6 years now! My hobby is badminton, and I cannot wait to go back and play after the lockdown.
I levitate objects using sound
My Typical Day: I warm-up the experimental setup as soon as I get to the university, and decide on what experiment needs to be performed. I then program the automatic sequence code to make the system do the experiment by themselves. Whilst I wait for the experiment to finish, I write simulation codes or reports.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Enthusiastic, Persistent, Innovative
What was your favourite subject at school?
What did you want to be after you left school?
Were you ever in trouble at school?
Yes, for not handing in homeworks
What's your favourite food?
What is the most fun thing you've done?
Visited NASA Space Centre in Houston.
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
Teleportation, Meeting Aliens, Travelling Space
Tell us a joke.
I took levitation classes once. But I dropped out