Wednesday, January 23, 2019
Contact us    |    Advertise    |   Help    |   Cookie Policy    |   Privacy Policy    RSS icon Twitter icon Facebook icon
    Home  ·  News  ·  Forum  ·  Stories  ·  Image Gallery  ·  Columns  ·  Encyclopedia  ·  Videos
Find: in

Acoustic 'tractor beam' can bypass obstacles

Posted on Monday, 29 October, 2018 | Comment icon 1 comment

The technology uses sound to create acoustic holograms. Image Credit: YouTube / Interact Lab
Scientists have created a device that can levitate small objects even when something else is in the way.
Developed by a team of researchers in the UK, the acoustic tractor beam, which is known as 'SoundBender', was revealed earlier this month at a technology symposium in Germany.

Unlike other similar devices, this one combines an ultrasound transducer array with an acoustic metamaterial to make it possible for the sound to bypass physical obstacles.

The key to this breakthrough is the addition of the metamaterial which helps to produce a more complex field of sound.

"A metamaterial is passive (like a lens for light), so we can theoretically put more energy in the sound," said Dr Gianluca Memoli from the University of Sussex.

In a demonstration video, the SoundBender can be seen levitating a small bead of polystyrene over the top of a LEGO figure. It also shows the sound bending around the flame of a lit candle.

The technology has a wide range of real-world applications in science, engineering and medicine.

"Controlling where sound goes is [currently] expensive and limited in capability, and therefore we need tens of speakers to have sound that goes behind obstacles - like while blasting tumours with ultrasound behind the ribs," Dr Memoli told Physics World.

"In a world where sound management is becoming a key aspect of our everyday life, we show that control can be achieved at the source, augmenting existing sound technologies with metamaterials."

Source: Physics World | Comments (1)

Tags: Tractor Beam, Levitate

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by XenoFish on 29 October, 2018, 20:45
"Sir, they're getting away!" "Engage the dubstep beam. Full power."

Please Login or Register to post a comment.

  On the forums
Black hole radio jet 'pointed directly at Earth'
The supermassive black hole in the center of the Milky Way seems to be pointing a radio jet directly towards us.
Secret Pentagon research projects revealed
A newly declassified list of top secret US government projects reads like something out of an X-Files episode.
Eels 'hyperactive' due to cocaine in the Thames
According to a report, excessive drug use in London may be having an adverse effect on some of the local wildlife.
Steam-powered space probe could work forever
Scientists have developed a prototype for a steam-powered spacecraft that can refuel itself with water.
Featured Videos
Gallery icon 
Round Earth vs flat Earth
Posted 1-18-2019 | 4 comments
Why do some people believe that the Earth is as flat as a pancake?
Which is correct - math or maths ?
Posted 1-10-2019 | 2 comments
For years, there has been some confusion over the shorthand of the word 'mathematics'.
How fast does glass crack ?
Posted 12-31-2018 | 5 comments
The Slo Mo Guys attempt another intriguing slow motion experiment in their back yard.
 View: More videos
Top   |  Home   |   Forum   |   News   |   Image Gallery   |  Columns   |   Encyclopedia   |   Videos   |   Polls
UM-X 10.712 (c) 2001-2018
Terms   |   Privacy Policy   |   Cookies   |   Advertise   |   Contact   |   Help/FAQ