Gadgets

Published on March 14th, 2019 | by Alan Cross

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Fun with physics and sound that may have applications for music someday.

A couple of items from the world of physics today. I’m not sure what you can do with this information, but it seems like fun.

1. Sound apparently has mass and weight

New experiments with sound waves point to the possibilities that sound waves possess mass. That would mean sound is affected by gravity. The new theories say that sound waves are actually made up of tiny particles (0.000 000 000 000 000 000 000 001 grams, or about the size of a hydrogen atom) called “phonons” that are responsible for transporting waves through the air or any other medium.

Even weirder is that phonons have negative gravity, meaning that they fall “up.”

Are there any practical applications for this potential discovery? Not yet, but you never know.

2. This strange shape cancels out almost all sound

There are moments when we crave quiet, which explains the popularity of noise-canceling headphones. Researchers at Boson University may have found something better.

They’ve been working with something called an “acoustic metamaterial” that reflects up to 94% of certain frequencies back to where they came from. This is interesting because while the technology blocks sound, it still allows air to flow. Could be just the ticket for places that need both dead quiet and air conditioning.




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About the Author

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.


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