'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 -
Hurdl PIXL Wearable Helps Fans Connect With Stars
Like Macross Plus!
Advertising Drones Hover Over Traffic In Mexico
'Blurbflies are allowd to travel the streets, buzzing their adverts alive and direct...' - Jeff Noon, 2000.
Audiobooks - Fastest Growing Format In Publishing
'The public preferred lectons...' - Stanislaw Lem, 1961.
Douglas Adams Your Babel Fish Is Ready - The Pilot By Waverly
'You'll need to have this fish in your ear.' - Douglas Adams, 1979.
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.
TALOS Exoskeleton Development Proceeding
'Suited up, you look like a big steel gorilla...'
Autonomous Robots Navigate Like Rats
'Out of warrens in the wall, tiny robot mice darted.'
SINTEF Robot Cleans Solar Panels
'The window cleaners, with large padded feet...'
Pangorin Restaurant Service Robots
What'll you have? Jawa juice?
Drug Creates Real Melanin Tan
I've used them all my life...
Medical Drones Hover Like Angels Near You
'The death-reversal equipment is on its way...'
SkEye Amazing Israeli Gigapixel Drone
'An eye that could not only see, but fly...'
How Rude! DARPA Wants Robots To Behave More Like Threepio
'Do I know protocol? Why, it's my primary function.'
'Liquid Light' Flows Around Corners
Light as a superfluid.
Unrolling The Filmy Materials Of Space Tech
'When unfolded and unrolled... it became a tough, gleaming film.'
Buddy Companion Robot Your Bulbous Friend
'Nanny was built in the shape of a sphere, a large metal sphere, flattened on the bottom...'
Poli-X1 Prototype Bee Pollinator
Is there anything drones can't do?
Bake in Space Bake-Off... In Space!
'A joyous condition commenced for the cook in the electric kitchen...'
DeepMind AI Baffled By Homer Simpson, Needs Human Help
'Whenever a robot finds something it can't identify straight off...'
Does Earth's Middle Mantle Hold Oceans Of Water?
Al Gore, you have no idea.
Vaccine Blocks Heroin High
'You're biochemically incapable of getting off...'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories