Nature’s toughest fiber can make bulletproof vests, future sutures, and even be engineered to come out of goat milk. Now a Japanese researcher has gone one step further, using spider silk for art. Specifically, a set of violin strings, which apparently have a “soft and profound timbre.”
Anyone who has ever tried to record that first feature-length album in his or her dad’s garage knows that reflecting, suppressing, and otherwise manipulating sound isn’t as simple as it might seems. We’ve got that egg-carton foam that offers some soundproofing, but beyond such muting materials we have few mature technologies that let us control the way sound travels. But Caltech researchers are working to change that via the first tunable, acoustic diode that can be used to let sound flow in one direction only.
A new acoustic invisibility cloak made of a plastic metamaterial makes objects invisible to sound waves, researchers say. It could be used to shield ships from sonar, or build better soundproof walls for concert halls and other spaces. We’ve seen this idea before, but now Duke University researchers have actually built it.
Those one-way mirrors made famous by cop dramas aren't actually one-way. They simply play off the differences in light on each side. That is, if the lights were equally as bright behind the mirror as in front, that rattled suspect could see right through to the cops on the other side.
She manipulates simple laws of physics to create “bullets” made of sound waves
By Bjorn CareyPosted 11.30.2010 at 10:58 am 4 Comments
Chiara Daraio loves the pick and roll. As a former member of Italy's junior national basketball team, she knows that although the effect of the play is complex and devastating, its parts are simple. It goes like this: Daraio blocks a defender’s path, her teammate darts past, Daraio rotates away from the pursuing defender and waits, unguarded, for her teammate's quick pass and an open shot. Pick. Roll. Pass. Shoot. It's a straightforward process with a sophisticated result.
Inspiration comes from the strangest places. A falling apple supposedly inspired Newton’s laws, and now a desktop ornament bearing Newton’s name has inspired a new acoustic weapon that both militaries and hospitals can keep in their arsenals: sub-sinking, tumor killing “sound bullets.”
This has been a good week for sonic physics. First came reports that scientists used sound waves to create a sonic black hole. Now, it seems that a different group of scientists have used specially calibrated sound waves to create something almost as cool: a sonic laser.
The lasers most people are familiar with are formed from beams of light with identical wave structures, added together to form one giant, coherent wave. The saser, created by scientists from the University of Nottingham, England, works the same way, but with correlated sound waves instead of light waves.
The world certainly isn't simple, and trying to express real-world dynamics in the form of an equation has long been a challenge. Realistic computer-simulated sound has been particularly tough to get right, and some of the hardest dynamics to recreate have been the movements and sound of water.
Scientists at Cornell have now announced a system that can look at a 3-D motion rendering of water--waves, drops, anything--and algorithmically create the dribbles, gurgles and plops it would be sounding, were it in fact real.