Caltech Develop One-way Transmission System for Sound Waves. The innovation is in a 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.
“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. “
Chiara Daraio is a professor of aeronautics and applied physics at Caltech and lead author on the study.
Potential uses include architectural acoustics for sound control within buildings, biomedical ultrasound devices, advanced noise control, thermal materials aimed at temperature control as well as...
“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.