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Thursday, July 7, 2011

Duke University, "The Cloak of Silence" - acoustics and metamaterials... uprising new horizons

In Beijin, from all over the world scientists and researchers recently discussed about new sound impermeable materials, actually "metamaterials", new nano-technologies involving materials born in laboratories around the world, like at Duke University in Durham, NC, USA.

This material - actually in the form of a fabric to make, at the moment, a small shielding cloak - is able to make sound-waves unaffecting a material "protected" by the cloak itself... first experiments were made with a small 10 cm per side wooden block... frequencies between 1000 and 4000 hz didn't hit the wooden part, BUT simply didn't "acoustically see" it, at the moment almost vibes free!

Soundwaves weren't affected by the "silence cloak" and after passing the wooden block-under-the-metamaterial-made barrier, they sort-of kept their frequencies and acoustic properties... this happens in laboratories...

In real-life conditions, military and civilian uses are still in the thinking hat... for my humble mind and purpouses, this micro-cells new material represents a dream come true... yes, military could advocate its use as a new Stealth-like super-silent aircraft or an invisible submarine, the pacifist, music and audio lover - yours truly - imagine an anti-reflection material in speakers and audio furniture, inside phono cartridges and turntables platters or the like, all able to preserve, shield against vibes and degradation soundwaves as they were on disc, disk or HD, without the shortcomings ALWAYS here in all and every music room, from recording studios to our homes.

Beside sharing with scientist Steven A. Cummer first name (Stefano, Steven, Steve...) I feel - and actually truly AM - too much ignorant to effectively "imagine" any use for the a.m. new-born material... as a gut-feeling, I wonder if and when it will find a place in our audio rooms.

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