Huh? I wonder what else can you do with sonic pressure waves?

It’s been a crazy week, so a few minutes ago I just felt the need to see some innovative and cool technology to re-charge the mental batteries.  I went to bing and searched for “cool new technology”.  What caught my attention was actually a USA Today article called Cool new technologies are right around the corner.   

Ok, that sounds promising. 

I was quite surprised to see the first part of the article was about refrigerator technology!  Ok, so that’s “cool” technology, I guess… but I immediately began to doubt I was in the right place. 

sound_waveNevertheless, I gave the article a quick scan, and it turns out that Ben and Jerry’s invested in research to create refrigerators that use sonic pressure waves to lower temperatures (instead of chemical coolants).  That is cool!  (And it’s also “cool”.) 

Bing, I’m sorry I doubted you. 

Aside: The second part of the article I mention above described something called the Magnetocaloric effect.  Basically, scientists built a refrigerator by spinning a new alloy compound so that it passes in and out of a magnetic field.  Also cool (and “cool”).  Ok, back to your regularly scheduled blog post, and the cooling wonders of ultrasonic pressure waves. 

If you recall my post on “touch-able” holograms, then you probably remember that the sensation of touch is delivered via focused ultrasonic pressure waves.  And if you haven’t see the video and research abstract linked there yet, definitely do check it out – it’s super cool, too.  (But only in the way you expect.)

soundwaves Now that’s I’ve found two cool uses for sonic pressure waves over the last few months, it makes me wonder: what other interesting things could you do? 

Seriously, I’m curious: if you were an sonic pressure wave genius (ultrasonic, “regular” sonic, or “other” sonic), what weird, awesome thing would you want to build?  

Or, if you know of something unusually cool that you can already do with sonic pressure waves, please share! 🙂

I’ll keep my eyes out, too, and if find/think of/hear of ideas I’ll round them up in a “Top x weird, awesome things to do with sonic pressure waves” post.  🙂

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Comments (2)

  1. ToddD0362 says:

    I saw a show on this technology on either the science channel. It was a weird tube looking contraption. At the one end was where the sonic pressure waves were produced and at the other end, it was frozen. I didn’t realize that Ben & Jerry’s had invested seed money. Very cool…

  2. JohnMullinax says:

    The article linked above says Ben and Jerry’s  actually spent $600,000 in a grant to Penn State to build a prototype.  Also, the US Navy apparently did the first research in this area (for those who didn’t click through and read the article itself).  

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