The Discovery of Floating Boats on the Oscillating Levitated Liquid Layer


  • Angela Li Exploring Scholar
  • Danny Zhang Exploring Scholar



levitating liquid layer, buoyancy, floating boat, oscillation, dynamical stabilization


When air bubbles are injected into a still bath with liquid, it’s known that they will rise to the top surface because of their small mass. However, oscillations, which can provide a dynamical stabilizing effect, can make air bubbles sink when created below a certain depth that changes along with the forcing amplitude. Three experiments are needed to show the defy-gravity behavior caused by vibration on liquid. Using silicon oil, a syringe, a needle, and a vertically oscillating shaker with amplitude, an air layer formed by sinking bubbles, which defy the well-known Archimedes’ principle, is being trapped under the levitating liquid layer acts as a spring-mass. With the further experiment using two light foam boats, it was observed that an upside-down buoyant force was acting on the liquid provided by vibration, supporting the boats to flow on both interfaces of the liquid layer. A symmetric Archimedes’ principle is discovered to be reflected on the lower interface created by the dynamic stabilization as well. This discovery about the effect vibration can have on liquid, and alternately the forces acting on the object floating on this liquid brings lots of future development to light and is new progress in the area of fluid mechanics.


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“Levitating Liquid Layers”:

“Experimental Setup Schematic” (figure 1A):

“Motion of Bubbles Schematic” (figure 1B):

“Shaking Amplitude A - Equilibrium Depth d* Graph” (figure 1C):

“Spring-mass Systems Schematic” (figure 2A):

“Length of Container - Alw Graph” (figure 2B):

“Buoyant and Gravity Force Schematic” (figure 3A):

“Potential Energy - Depth Graph” (figure 3B):

“Upside-down Boat” (figure 3C):



How to Cite

Li, A., & Zhang, D. (2021). The Discovery of Floating Boats on the Oscillating Levitated Liquid Layer. Journal of Student Research, 10(2).



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