- SAN DIEGO (CNN) -- A researcher says he has done something "completely impossible"
by harnessing the power of sound, and that eventually it will be available
in everything from home appliances to industrial compressors.
- Tim Lucas says he made a radical discovery
while working at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico that
enables him to create more energy through sound waves than was ever thought
- "It's not an incremental improvement
in an existing technology," Lucas says, "it's suddenly doing
something which before was completely impossible."
- Scientists have long known that sound
is composed of pulsing waves of energy, but it was considered useless as
a power source because at high levels sound waves distort into shock waves.
- An example is the way sound distorts
on a stereo or radio speakers when turned up too loud. But Lucas discovered
that by sending sound waves through empty containers of various shapes,
the shock waves were eliminated.
- Clean electric power generators?
- "Once you've done that," he
says, "you can add all the energy, create all the pressure, and deliver
all the power that you want." Lucas calls his invention Resonant Macrosonic
Synthesis -- RMS.
- He has used it to power such things as
a gas compressor, but believes there is so much potential that he compares
what he has done with sound to what the laser has done with light.
- His company, Macrosonix, is working on
sound wave compressors which might one day do everything from cool refrigerators
and air conditioners in the home to running compressors in factories and
on construction sites.
- The beauty of a sound-wave compressor
is that it would do what a compressor does, but without the moving parts
required in conventional piston technology.
- Mechanical engineering professor Mark
Hamilton, who has followed Lucas' work, says, "I don't think the idea
struck people that you could use sound waves to do, say, pumping that could
be used on a commercial scale. And I think that was the innovative part
of the idea here."
- Macrosonix researchers say they also
hope to use sound to create clean electric power generators, replacing
any number of machines with the technology of an empty cavity.
Now We Have Killer Sound!
From Donald Hart
Note: Please read the below except from
my physics review newsletter. I thought you would be interested in imaging
or asking your guests about the possibilities for causing the populance
more discomfort, or bring down UFO's. -Don Hart
- MOST INTENSE MANMADE SOUND EVER. The
production of sound waves with 1600 times more energy per unit volume than
previously achieved has been announced by researchers at this week's meeting
of the Acoustical Society of America in San Diego, opening up possible
new uses for sound in science and technology.
- Sound waves, patterns of compression
and expansion in a gas such as air, are often created and studied in closed
or semi-closed containers called cavities. In the past, attempts to make
such sound waves louder (by adding more sound energy into the cavity) would
fail beyond a certain point because additional energy would merely lead
to the formation of a shock wave which would quickly dissipate the energy
- Until the late 1980s, researchers thought
shock-wave formation was inevitable. In a new technique called "resonant
macrosonic synthesis," Tim Lucas and colleagues at MacroSonix Corporation
in Virginia have built cavities with special shapes (horns, bulbs, cones)
each tailored to promote certain distinct modes of sound vibration which
combine in such a way as to inhibit the creation of shock waves, allowing
sound waves of unprecedented energy density to build up.
- Filling the containers with gas, and
vibrating them to generate sound waves inside, the researchers produced
sound waves with oscillating pressures up to 500 pounds per square inch.
The first technological application for these powerful sound waves will
be in an "acoustic compressor" which uses sound rather than moving
parts to compress gas inside refrigerators and air conditioners.
- (Images at www.aip.org/physnews/graphics)