Friday, 13 Jun, 2008 Science
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Scientists to Create a Silence Shield

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Scientists unveiled a plan to produce a breakthrough device that could make objects resistible to sound waves, creating an acoustic shield.

The idea of the acoustic cloak was fulfilled by Spanish scientists, who believe that their invention will contribute to the creation of sound-proof homes, sophisticated concert halls and stealth warships.

To create a sound cloak scientists had to find the right material. They discovered artificial composites called "sonic crystals" that can be made to create the acoustic effect. Sonic crystals have a specific structure that makes it possible to channel sound waves around an object that has to be shielded.

Jose Sanchez-Dehesa of the Polytechnic University of Valencia, who took part in the research, said that in order to create this effect, scientists needed a material consisting of very small cylinders. The simulation experiments showed that 200 layers of sonic crystals used to cloak an object from the sounds were enough to produce such effect.

The next step is to produce and test this kind of material in the laboratory. Experts claim that the idea is quite easy to realize and once the acoustic cloak is created, it will have numerous applications.

Scientists have already developed a theoretical design of the device that is able to make an object invisible from microwaves. This year, several independent teams of scientists presented the necessary mathematics to produce an acoustic cloak, which was claimed to become more feasible than the "invisible" device.

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