'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 |

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 ( 9 )

Related News Stories - (" Communication ")

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

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...' - Alan Nelson, 1953.

Fog Computing (AKA Edge Computing) Ad Hoc Networks
'The tiny devices chirped their impulse codes at one another...' - Vernor Vinge, 1999.

Biggest HiSeas 'Mars Mission' Problem? No Internet
I think sf writers have this covered!

 

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

A 'Genuine Nanorobotic Production Factory'
'Microscopic machinery, smaller than ants, smaller than pins, working energetically, purposefully - constructing something...'

Neuromorphic Computer Offers Non-von Neumann Architecture
Fires faster than brain at 1/10K energy.

Evorus Your Crowd-Powered Conversational Assistant
'...the DS [Daily Schedule] was suddenly transformed into a valued confidante.'

Mealworms Food Of The Future
Get your grubs on.

Alibaba's AI May Read Better Than You
'Mike ... could accept other languages and was doing technical translating - and reading endlessly.'

Musk's Boring Flamethrower
'Skeletons in tatters. Burned by a flesh gun'

Humanity Star LEO Advertisement?
'Everyone has noticed those enormous advertisements...'

Nissan ProPILOT Slippers Are Self-Parking, Autonomous
Beyond science and fiction.

Atomristors - Atomic Memristors - Using Thin Nanomaterials
'I could almost feel those little tunnel junction neuristors working, forming their own interconnections as I operated it.'

Bigelow Prepares Inflatable Lunar Hotel
'Suddenly, hitherto unheard-of sums of money became available for investment in civilian orbital stations.'

Drunk Driver Of Tesla Claims Autopilot Was In Charge
'Mr. Garden, you are in no condition to drive.'

Medical Exoskeleton From Cyberdyne Gets FDA Approval
It's been a long road for HAL-5; I started writing about it in 2005.

Fungi-Infused Concrete Repairs Itself
'I noticed that curious mottled knots were forming, indicating where the room had been strained and healed faultily.'

Shiftwear Display Shoes
'He unlaced her shoe and glanced at its readout.'

NASA SEXTANT First With X-Ray Nav In Space
'You need at least four beacons for an accurate fix.'

GM Introduces Cruise AV With No Steering Wheel
'How about the steering wheel?' ... 'I do not need 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.