World’s first 3D acoustic cloak unveiled at Duke University - 03/13/14

World’s first 3D acoustic cloak unveiled at Duke University

The world’s first 3-dimensional acoustic cloak has been developed by engineers at Duke University in North Carolina.  “By placing this cloak around an object, the sound waves behave like there is nothing more than a flat surface in their path,” Steven Cummer, professor of electrical and computer engineering explains. The cloak alters the trajectory of the sound waves and the team believe it could be used in applications such as sonar avoidance and architectural acoustics.

To test the device, the researchers placed a sphere under the cloak and directed short blasts of sound waves and recorded the waves responded. They also experimented with an uncloaked sphere in order to make a comparison. The results show that by using the device, that the sound waves look like that have been reflected from a flat surface.  “The structure that we built might look really simple,” said Cummer. “But I promise you that it’s a lot more difficult and interesting than it looks. We put a lot of energy into calculating how sound waves would interact with it. We didn’t come up with this overnight.” 

Credit: Duke University
Credit: Duke University

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