Led by mechanical science and engineering professor Nicholas Fang, Illinois researchers have demonstrated an acoustic cloak, a technology that renders underwater objects invisible to sonar and other ultrasound waves.Probably not the best news for your friendly neighborhood sonar tech. They had a hard job anyway.
“We are not talking about science fiction. We are talking about controlling sound waves by bending and twisting them in a designer space,” said Fang, who also is affiliated with the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology.
While materials that can wrap sound around an object rather than reflecting or absorbing it have been theoretically possible for a few years, realisation of the concept has been a challenge. In a paper accepted for publication in the journal Physical Review Letters, Fang’s team describe their working prototype, capable of hiding an object from a broad range of sound waves.
Super stealth stuff.