'Inaudibility Cloak' Is Theoretically Possible
Inaudibility cloaks, three-dimensional surfaces that are acoustically veiled, are theoretically possible. This according to a paper published by Steven Cummer, Jeffrey N. Vinik Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Duke's Pratt School of Engineering.
Note that this is different from the idea of noise cancellation in a defined area; science fiction fans may recall Arthur C. Clarke's Fenton silencer and Robert Heinlein's hush corner, among others.
An inaudibility cloak would allow the cloaked item to "disappear" within a sound field; sound waves would go around the object and then seamlessly merge on the other side, leaving no reflections or other traces.
"We’ve now shown that both 2-D and 3-D acoustic cloaks theoretically do exist," Cummer said. Although the theory used to design such acoustic devices so far isn't as general as the one used to devise the microwave cloak, the finding nonetheless paves the way for other acoustic devices, for instance, those meant to bend or concentrate sound. "It opens up the door to make the physical shape of an object different from its acoustic shape," he said.
My first thought is that this is a really cool idea (I'm an avid fan of invisibility cloaks, both science-fictional and real). My next thought was to wonder what in the world it would be good for.
I started thinking that it would be especially cool for biologists studying bats and other creatures that use echo-location. You could stand invisibly by. Of course, on the downside, you might have bats smacking into you.
However, it turns out that using the same kind of metamaterials that have produced working invisibility cloaks could be used in a theater to wrap around columns, making the sound flow in the room more perfect.
Also, the cold war is over, but enemy subs still slink through the seas. An inaudibility cloak could serve to hide our subs from enemy sonar.
Story from the Duke University press release 'Invisibility Cloaks' Could Break Sound Barriers; via Futurismic.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 1/11/2008)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 9 )
Related News Stories -
Realistic Translation With The Waverly Labs Ambassador
'The speech patterns you actually hear decode the brainwave matrix which has been fed into your mind by your Babel fish.' - By Douglas Adams, 1979.
Soli Gesture Tech Will Be In Google Pixel 4
'I enjoy watching this way, but - He waved his hand and the circuit switched abruptly.' - Philip K Dick, 1955.
Lost Language Meanings Found By Machine Learning
'The autopilot would need data before it could begin a translation...' - Larry Niven, 1970.
The Future Of Elon Musk's Neuralink
'Cerebral Electromagnetic Emmission Amplification and Relay System — call it artificial telepathy, if you like.' - Richard Meredith, 1969.
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.
Trash Sorting AI Robot Presages Skynet, Thanks A Lot
Keep your head down, Kyle Reese.
Electric Unicycle Is A Tumblebug
'A tumblebug does not give a man dignity, since it is about the size and shape of a kitchen stool, gyro-stabilized on a single wheel.'
Another Soil Bacterium Eats Plastic
'...the plastic was dissolved before his eyes.'
reLive Memorial Come Back As A Tree
'It was time - time to go again. She touched the leaf. She was wanted.'
Engineered Living Building Materials
'... it was the cheapest building material known.'
Draw Circuits With Conductive Ink
'It's rewiring things... squeezing silver toothpaste in a ribbon along the printed circuitry.'
Arkangel: Automatic Visual Censoring
It's whatever the Party says it is, Winston.
NASA Competition To Design A Bucket Drum For Moon Mining
'There was a heap of discarded ore where Grantline had carted and dumped it...'
Medical Assistant Robot May Roam The Halls Of Hospitals
'Take care, sir.'
No Autonomous Trucks? Wait, What?
'...it resembled conventional human-operated transportation vehicles, but with one exception -- there was no driver's cabin.'
As Big As A Biltong - World's Largest 3D Printer
'Huge and old, it squatted in the center of the settlement park... On the concrete platform... lay a heap of originals to be duplicated.'
Drones Used To Smuggle Contraband Into Prison
'And some mega chip inside so it never runs into anything and no cop ever sees it.'
Are You Ready For Commercial Space Travel?
'It wasn't a pleasant trip; it was a miserable trip on a miserable, undersized tourist rocket...'
Amplified Nerves Lead To Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Hands
'The electrical impulses generated by your brain command everything...'
FlyCroTug Micro Drones Do Heavy Lifting
'It extended three of its tiny arms sideways to lock on...'
Virtual Whitney Houston In Concert
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories