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 ")

ROAM Robotics Skiing Exoskeleton
'The real genius in the design is that you don't have to control the suit; you just wear it...' - Robert Heinlein, 1959.

IRL Glasses Block Screens, Limit Vision To Real Life
'If you couldn't see the ads, how would you know what was fashionable?' - John Varley, 1977.

The Hammock Caravan And Italo Calvino's Octavia
'Now I will tell you how Octavia, the spider-web city, is made.'

Americans! Stay Indoors To Save Energy
'Those funny old days, when men went for change of air instead of changing the air in their rooms!' - EM Forster, 1909.

 

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

Nobe 3-Wheel Electric Vehicle Parking Like I, Robot
Spidercar, Spidercar, does whatever a spidercar does.

Michelin Self-Sealing Tires On Ford's Explorer
'...a seal of compressed plastifoam to save the air.'

Mushroom Eats Plastic, Saves Planet
Fungus Amongus, SaveUs!

Juggalo Face Paint Disrupts Facial Recognition
'... designed to foil facial recognition systems.'

Mojipic Smart Voice Vehicle Emojis
KITT, what's your response?

Unusual Twist On Woman Dates Robot
'My hearing, vision and awareness went along with that excellent imitation of a young Adonis...'

BrainNet Triple Telepathic Gaming Threat
'In the gloomy half-darkness the three idiots sat babbling.'

AVAS Noisemakers Required For EVs By EU
'...a sound tape to supply the noise of a soi-disant "[internal combustion]" engine...'

Pun Generation Via Neural Nets
'You said you wanted him to be able to distinguish between laugh-power in different gags...'

Blood Battery Robotic Fish
'With one fluid motion, it surged forward, plunged, and was gone.'

Lightyear One Solar-Powered Electric Car (Design By Heinlein)
'It drew its power from six square yards of sunpower screens on its low curved roof.'

'Agression Detectors' Don't Work When Spying On Students
'The professional agitators had also learned how to modulate their voices below the danger level...'

Mining Of Golden Asteroid Foretold In 1898 Science Fiction
'This must be a golden planet—this little asteroid.'

Miners! NASA Wants To License RASSOR Excavator
'The borers had been dismantled and packed away.'

Bee+ Robobee Now With Four Wings
'It was a tiny thing, scarcely more than an inch and a half in length...'

CNSILK Robotic Spider Builder
'We could certainly spin a web right through the Solar System, if we can think of a good use for one.'

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.