Friday, June 13, 2008

Calling Maxwell Smart!

Experts unveil 'cloak of silence'

BBC, June 13

Being woken in the dead of night by noisy neighbours blasting out music could soon be a thing of the past.

Scientists have shown off the blueprint for an "acoustic cloak", which could make objects impervious to sound waves.

The technology, outlined in the New Journal of Physics, could be used to build sound-proof homes, advanced concert halls or stealth warships.

Scientists have previously demonstrated devices that cloak objects from microwaves, making them "invisible".

"The mathematics behind cloaking has been known for several years," said Professor John Pendry of Imperial College London, UK, an expert in cloaking.

"What hasn't been available for sound is the sort of materials you need to build a cloak out of."

UPDATE: Another researcher has apparently been laboring in the same field: Alistair Cockburn (pronounced "Jones") claims to be the world's leading authority on "Silence Radiators." He produced the first cone of silence back in '58.


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