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 ")

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.

Safilo Brain-Sensing Eyewear
'they all relaxed and got mellow....' - Philip K. Dick, 1977.

The Sheep Look Up In Beijing
'The hungry sheep look up, and are not fed...' - John Brunner, 1972.

 

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

Keith Laumer's Bolo Autonomous Tanks Right On Schedule
'I cannot lie idle under attack.'

When Computers Develop Their Own Language, Will They Talk To Us?
'The curious absent look of a robot talking on the TBR circuits - the Talk Between Robots radio...'

LipNet Reads Lips - Until Disconnected, That Is
'We'd have to cut his higher brain functions... I'm not sure what [HAL} would think about that.'

Eterni.me - To Skype With The Dead
'Nothing... left of Jeserac but a galaxy of electrons frozen in the heart of a crystal.'

Wearable MRI Is Former Occulus/Facebook Exec's New Project
'Your cephalochromoscope... that you always turn on and play when you get home...'

Ford Stratasys Infinte Build 3D Printer
'He proudly indicated his Buick... Almost as good as the original it was printed from...'

The Space Suit As Personal Spaceship
'Darn clever, these suits...'

Dune Fans! Your God Emperor Is Ready
'If one held a sandtrout in the hand, smoothing it over your skin, it formed a living glove.'

Robot Strolls Field, Examines EVERY Plant
'The great machines that did the work ... required but a few dozen men to cultivate an entire county.'

Sweden Outlaws Drones
'An eye that could not only see, but fly, roam, travel at speeds and in directions to suit its operator...'

Wear Your Self-Powered Generator
'It's basically a micro-sandwich...'

TITAN-III Spider Robot Is WAY Too Quick (Video)
'My little friends can find you wherever you go!'

Bill Gates Suggests Tax On Robots
'A worker replaced by a nubot that 'appears or pretends to be human' had to be compensated...'

Handle, New Wheeled Hopping Robot
'the hopper sprang thirty feet into the air...'

Matrix Sentinel Ancestor, The Pipe Inspector Robot From Krakow
Watch out, Keanu!

Auto-Focus Smart Glasses Have Liquid Lenses
'Hufhuf oil held in static tension by an enclosing force field within a viewing tube...'

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.