A super-material that bends, shapes and focuses sound waves that pass through it has been invented by scientists.
The creation pushes the boundaries of metamaterials – a new class of finely-engineered surfaces that perform nature-defying tasks.
These materials have already shown remarkable results with light manipulation, allowing scientists to create a real-life version of Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak, for example.
But a research team from the Universities of Sussex and Bristol have now shown that they also work with sound waves, which could transform medical imaging and personal audio.
Finely shaped sound fields are used in medical imaging and therapy as well as in a wide range of consumer products such as audio spotlights and ultrasonic haptics. The research published today (Monday 27 February 2017) in Nature Communications shows a simple and cheap way of creating these shaped sound waves using acoustic metamaterials.
The collaborative research team assembled a metamaterial layer out of lots of small bricks that each coil up space. The space coiling bricks act to slow down the sound meaning that incoming sound waves can be transformed into any required sound field.
The new metamaterial layers could be used in many applications. Large versions could be used to direct or focus sound to a particular location and form an audio hotspot. Much smaller versions could be used to focus high intensity ultrasound to destroy tumours deep within the body. Here, a metamaterial layer could be tailor-made to fit the body of a patient and tuned to focus the ultrasound waves where they are needed most. In both cases the layer could be fitted to existing loudspeaker technology and be made rapidly and cheaply.
Dr Gianluca Memoli, from the Interact Lab at the University of Sussex who led the study, said: “Our metamaterial bricks can be 3D printed and then assembled together to form any sound field you can imagine. We also showed how this can be achieved with only a small number of different bricks. You can think of a box of our metamaterial bricks as a do-it-yourself acoustics kit.
Professor Sriram Subramanian, Head of the Interact Lab at the University of Sussex, added: “We want to create acoustic devices that manipulate sound with the same ease and flexibility with which LCDs and projectors do to light. Our research opens the door to new acoustic devices combining diffraction, scattering and refraction, and enables the future development of fully digital spatial sound modulators, which can be controlled in real time with minimal resources.”
Bruce Drinkwater, Professor of Ultrasonics at the University of Bristol, explained: “In the future I think there will be many exciting applications of this technology. We are now working on making the metamaterial layers dynamically reconfigurable. This will mean we can make cheap imaging systems which could be used either for medical diagnostics or crack detection.”
Learn more: Sound-shaping super-material invented
Receive an email update when we add a new METAMATERIALS article.
The Latest on: Super-material
via Google News
The Latest on: Super-material
- Giving Neural Nets an Innate Brain-Like Structure Could Bolster Deep Learning on February 19, 2019 at 7:00 am
But here’s the thing: for all their similarities to the human brain, artificial deep neural nets are highly reductive models of the seemingly chaotic electro-chemical transmissions that populate every ... […]
- Letting an AI go 'to sleep' enhances its performance on February 15, 2019 at 7:53 am
An artificial intelligence has been programmed so that it enters ... the maximal capacity of the network was rated α=0.14 (the α symbol represents the number of stored bits per synapse); howerver, whe... […]
- Synapse Technology Partners with Astrophysics to Bring Artificial Intelligence To Security X-Ray Industry on February 14, 2019 at 2:12 pm
Astrophysics and Synapse Technology announce Syntech SOLUTION, the first commercially-available integrated artificial intelligence automated thread detection X-ray inspection system. Feb 14, 2019, 4:3... […]
- Using neuroscience to develop artificial intelligence on February 14, 2019 at 11:46 am
The key problem in deep nets is learning, which is the adjustment of the synapses to produce the desired outputs ... which use instead a limited set of highly simplified homogeneous artificial neurons ... […]
- How Heart Intelligence Can Change the Way You Think and Innovate on February 14, 2019 at 9:11 am
Neverending Complexities For every synapse, process, and part of the brain we understand, there seems to be two we don't. And while we are closer than ever before to understanding the why, and the how ... […]
- Rainfall's identity for DeepCube highlights the cutting edge of artificial intelligence on February 14, 2019 at 12:40 am
Rainfall was approached by DeepCube, a deep learning company building technologies on the cutting edge of artificial intelligence ... and is combined with a mesmerising network of neurons and synapses ... […]
- Using Memristors for Robust Local Learning of Hardware Restricted Boltzmann Machines on February 12, 2019 at 2:17 am
34. La Barbera, S. et al. Narrow heater bottom electrode-based phase change memory as a bidirectional artificial synapse. Adv. Electron. Mater (2018). Hansen Mirko, Z. M. K. H. Zahari Finn. Double-bar... […]
- KIX Airport Enters 5 Year Agreement to Deploy Syntech ONE as Flagship Member of Global Security Innovation Network on February 11, 2019 at 5:40 am
OSAKA, Japan, Feb. 11, 2019 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- Artificial intelligence security and defense company Synapse Technology today announced that Osaka's KIX Airport, a flagship member of the Global Secu... […]
- Organic transistors bring us closer to brain-mimicking AI on February 8, 2019 at 2:20 pm
Today’s artificial neural networks use machine learning algorithms ... requires prefabricated circuitry made of a huge number of nodes to simulate a single synapse. That’s a lot of computing power, wh... […]
via Bing News