Noise-Cancelling Windows With Piezoelectric Patches

There's nothing like a nice, thick wall to shield you from noisy urban environments. Windows pose a real problem because of the way they transmit vibration.

"A window acts like a loudspeaker and a membrane. If you control the vibration of the window, you can control transmitted noise in such a way that it is not acting like a membrane or a loudspeaker," said Thilo Bein, Fraunhofer Institute for Structural Durability and System Reliability LBF in Darmstadt, Germany.

Simple expedients like using triple-pane windows can help, but they are expensive; it would be better to eliminate the vibration. Bein and his research team have developed a way to make a single-pane window damp out vibration by about fifty percent.


(Noise-canceling window)

Here's how it works. Stamp-sized patches of a piezoelectric ceramic are attached to the window at regular intervals; they are connected to each other and to a controller by fine wires. When a sound-generated vibration moves the window, the patches sense it.

The controller then delivers a specific electric charge back to the patches, causing them to vibrate at a phase that cancels out the sound vibration. In experiments, 90-100 decibel noise was reduced by fifty percent. Bein estimates that these windows would be commercially available within five years; the patches would be more fully integrated into the window (and hopefully transparent).

Science fiction writers of the 1950's were very concerned with noise reduction, apparently. For instance, in his 1957 story Silence Please, Arthur C. Clarke wrote about the Fenton Silencer:

It consisted of a microphone, a special amplifier and a pair of loud speakers. Any sound that happened to be about was picked up by the mike, amplified and inverted so it was exactly out of phase with the original noise. Then it was pumped out of the speakers, the original wave and the new one cancelled out, and the net result was silence...
(Read more about Clarke's Fenton Silencer)

SF fans will doubtless remember the hush corner from Heinlein's Double Star as well as the legendary cone of silence from Dune.

Via Discovery.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 5/1/2007)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Lifestyle ")

Seiko Astron Always Knows Your Time Zone
'Harrington glanced at his wrist watch - a bulky affair - and whistled.' - Robert Heinlein, 1940.

The Ring Clock IS Heinlein's Finger Watch
'Crayn glanced at his finger watch...' - HB Fyfe, 1951.

3D Printed Fashion - Plastirobes And Transdresses
'... dial a new fashion every day!' - Niven and Barnes, 1992.

ThreeForm 3D Scans And Digitally Simulates Customer Fashion
'...A miracle of misapplied engineering caused his own face to appear on the illustrated figures dressed in trooper red.' - Harry Harrison, 1965.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Tesla Semi 'Electrotruck' Unveiled
Elon Musk unveils yet another technological marvel.

Watch What People Are Seeing Via Brain Scanning
'had managed to see through the other man's eyes as the other man, all unaware, washed their Zis limousine sixteen hundred meters away...'

Integrated Circuits Printed Right Onto Fabric!
'...a shirt that displayed email on its sleeve.

Interstellar Asteroid Visits Our Solar System
'This asteroid had whirled in from the cold of the interplanetary space...'

PRIMA Bionic Vision Restoration
'The VISOR... was a medical device used in the Federation to aid patients who have suffered loss of eyesight...'

Audi Traffic Jam Pilot Knows If You're Sleeping
'Even here, riding a garbage truck to eternity, the machine watched him...'

UM Hall Thruster Breaks Records
Someday, we'll see an ion drive used to get to Mars.

Ionity Ultra-fast Charging Station Network
'Recharge the batteries... in almost every town and village...'

VAuth Voice Security Wearable From University of Michigan
'Siri, I gave you a voice command...' 'Yes, but do I know you?'

Ubiquiti FrontRow Camera Records Your Life
Why be choosy? Just upload your whole life to the Internet, and be done with it.

Ancient Ocean On Ceres?
'We sailed gently forward, hull down to the asteroid's surface... A little sea was now beneath us.'

SmileCloud Bubloons Are Custom Clouds
'Spurgle kicked at the letter G... It was a monstrous white thing, ten feet thick, half a city block long...'

Cassie 'Halfbot' Best Half (Lower) Of Humanoid Robot
We can always make it limp along if it gets threatening.

Autonomous Concrete Floor Finishing Robot
Keep those construction site robots coming.

Musk Tweets A Boring Tunnel Pic
'We hit the sub-basement and went at once to the express tubes...'

Shelley.ai AI Terrifies Thanks To Reddit's Nosleep
'How can you compete with IBM?'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.