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Excess Sound Turned Into Electricity - Sound That Travels In Only ONE Direction

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posted on Jul, 29 2011 @ 09:28 AM
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Caltech researchers devise acoustic diode that sends sound one-way, could harvest energy

Press Release:

Caltech Engineers Develop One-way Transmission System for Sound Waves

PASADENA, Calif.- While many hotel rooms, recording studios, and even some homes are built with materials to help absorb or reflect sound, mechanisms to truly control the direction of sound waves are still in their infancy. However, researchers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have now created the first tunable acoustic diode-a device that allows acoustic information to travel only in one direction, at controllable frequencies.

The mechanism they developed is outlined in a paper published on July 24 in the journal Nature Materials.

Borrowing a concept from electronics, the acoustic diode is a component that allows a current-in this case a sound wave-to pass in one direction, while blocking the current in the opposite direction. "We exploited a physical mechanism that causes a sharp transition between transmitting and nontransmitting states of the diode," says Chiara Daraio, professor of aeronautics and applied physics at Caltech and lead author on the study. "Using experiments, simulations, and analytical predictions, we demonstrated the one-way transmission of sound in an audible frequency range for the first time."

This new mechanism brings the idea of true soundproofing closer to reality. Imagine two rooms labeled room A and room B. This new technology, Daraio explains, would enable someone in room A to hear sound coming from room B; however, it would block the same sound in room A from being heard in room B.

"The concept of the one-way transmission of sound could be quite important in architectural acoustics, or the science and engineering of sound control within buildings," says Georgios Theocharis, a postdoctoral scholar in Daraio's laboratory and a co-author of the study.

The system is based on a simple assembly of elastic spheres-granular crystals that transmit the sound vibrations-that could be easily used in multiple settings, can be tuned easily, and can potentially be scaled to operate within a wide range of frequencies, meaning its application could reach far beyond soundproofing.

Similar systems have been demonstrated by other scientists, but they all feature smooth transitions between transmitting and nontransmitting states instead of the sharp transitions needed to be more effective at controlling the flow of sound waves. To obtain the sharp transition, the team created a periodic system with a small defect that supports this kind of quick change from an "on" to an "off" transmission state. According to Daraio, this means the system is very sensitive to small variations of operational conditions, like pressure and movement, making it useful in the development of ultrasensitive acoustic sensors to detect sound waves. The system can also operate at different frequencies of sound and is capable of downshifting, or reducing the frequency of the traveling signals, as needed.

"We propose to use these effects to improve energy-harvesting technologies," she says. "For example, we may be able to scavenge sound energy from undesired structural vibrations in machinery by controlling the flow of sound waves away from the machinery and into a transducer. The transducer would then convert the sound waves into electricity." Daraio says the technology can also shift the undesired frequencies to a range that enables a more efficient conversion to electricity.

The team plans to continue studying the fundamental properties of these systems, focusing on their potential application to energy-harvesting systems. They also believe that these systems may be applicable to a range of technologies including biomedical ultrasound devices, advanced noise control, and even thermal materials aimed at temperature control.

"Because the concepts governing wave propagation are universal to many systems, we envision that the use of this novel way to control energy might enable the design of many advanced thermal and acoustic materials and devices," says Daraio.

The Nature Materials paper is titled "Bifurcation-based acoustic switching and rectification." Nicholas Boechler, a former Ph.D. student at Caltech, is also an author on the study.

The research was supported by the National Science Foundation, the Office of Naval Research, and the A. S. Onassis Benefit Foundation.




posted on Jul, 29 2011 @ 09:32 AM
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Rock Bands Go GREEN !!



posted on Jul, 29 2011 @ 09:33 AM
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Sounds very interesting op, can't wait to hear more. Can you post a link to the source?



posted on Jul, 29 2011 @ 09:35 AM
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posted on Jul, 29 2011 @ 09:44 AM
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hi op
ive always been facinated with diodes
especially its function in rectification
but this device is bloody scary
i predict this tech will be used to make people hear voices
and be labeld as Skitzos
im afraid this will be used for sinister purposes



posted on Jul, 29 2011 @ 09:51 AM
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reply to post by davesmart
 


could be used for good too, but i doubt it! Free energy has been around for years but where is it?

Most likely a one direction sound weapon, hope i'm wrong.



posted on Jul, 29 2011 @ 10:40 AM
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Im sorry , but I need some clarification here. Firstly the title suggests that sound is converted into electricity... How many volts per decibel are we talking? Secondly , what exactly is meant by sound that travels in only one direction? The very idea makes a nonsense of the way soundwaves move for a start, they radiate outward from point of origin, not in straight lines, but in massive waves, pulses. When they strike an object, or are buffeted by wind, thier resonance is either lost or reflected as an echo. But they dont turn circles mid air for any reason, so arent ALL sounds one way , unless they get turned around?



posted on Jul, 29 2011 @ 03:15 PM
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I'd be very interested to see the applications of this technology in the field of acoustics.



posted on Jul, 29 2011 @ 04:06 PM
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reply to post by TrueBrit
 


hi i will answer your question with a question on a new thread



posted on Jul, 29 2011 @ 04:24 PM
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Originally posted by TrueBrit
Im sorry , but I need some clarification here. Firstly the title suggests that sound is converted into electricity... How many volts per decibel are we talking? Secondly , what exactly is meant by sound that travels in only one direction? The very idea makes a nonsense of the way soundwaves move for a start, they radiate outward from point of origin, not in straight lines, but in massive waves, pulses. When they strike an object, or are buffeted by wind, thier resonance is either lost or reflected as an echo. But they dont turn circles mid air for any reason, so arent ALL sounds one way , unless they get turned around?

Actually, sound waves can exhibit specular behaviour.



posted on Jul, 29 2011 @ 08:43 PM
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Very misleading title.
1- Sound is not turned into electricity
2- electric currents can travel in two directions

If there is any connection between sound and electricity is that this material acts the same way a rectifier does but for sound waves:

A diode forces electric current to travel in one direction
An acoustic diode forces sound to travel in one direction

And that's the only connection.

However turning excess sound into electricity may not be a bad idea, hmmmm, wonder if placing a couple hundred transducers along a highway would be enough to power street lights..
edit on 29-7-2011 by daniel_g because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 30 2011 @ 03:23 AM
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This topic reminds me of this topic:

www.abovetopsecret.com...

Cool stuff!



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