Optical Computer

Researchers at the University of Sydney (Australia) have dramatically slowed digital information carried as light waves by transferring the data into sound waves in an integrated circuit, or microchipTransferring information from the optical to acoustic domain and back again inside a chip is critical for the development of photonic integrated circuits: microchips that use light instead of electrons to manage data.

These chips are being developed for use in telecommunications, optical fibre networks and cloud computing data centers where traditional electronic devices are susceptible to electromagnetic interference, produce too much heat or use too much energy.

The information in our chip in acoustic form travels at a velocity five orders of magnitude slower than in the optical domain,” said Dr Birgit Stiller, research fellow at the University of Sydney and supervisor of the project.

It is like the difference between thunder and lightning,” she said.

This delay allows for the data to be briefly stored and managed inside the chip for processing, retrieval and further transmission as light wavesLight is an excellent carrier of information and is useful for taking data over long distances between continents through fibre-optic cables.

But this speed advantage can become a nuisance when information is being processed in computers and telecommunication systems.

Source: https://sydney.universty.au/

Sonic Tractor Beam

The world’s first sonic tractor beams that can lift and move objects using soundwaves have been built by a team that includes researchers at the University of SussexTractor beams are mysterious rays that can grab and lift objects. The concept was created by science-fiction writers  but has since come to fascinate scientists and engineers.

Researchers at the Universities of Sussex and Bristol (UK), in collaboration with Ultrahaptics, have now built a working tractor beam that uses high-amplitude soundwaves to generate an acoustic hologram that can pick up and move small objects. The technique, published in Nature Communications today (27 October 2015), could be developed for a wide range of applications. For example, a sonic production line could transport delicate objects and assemble them, all without physical contact. Or a miniature version could grip and transport drug capsules or microsurgical instruments through living tissue.

sonic tractor beamCLICK ON THE IMAGE TO ENJOY THE VIDEO

In our device we manipulate objects in mid-air and seemingly defy gravity. We can individually control dozens of loudspeakers to tell us an optimal solution to generate an acoustic hologram that can manipulate multiple objects in real-time without contact”, explains Sriram Subramanian, Professor of Informatics at the University of Sussex and co-founder of Ultrahaptics.

The researchers used an array of 64 miniature loudspeakers (driven at 40Khz with 15Vpp. The whole system consumes 9 Watts of power) to create high-pitched and high-intensity sound waves to levitate a spherical bead (of up to 4mm in diameter) made of expanded polystyrene.

The tractor beam works by surrounding the object with high-intensity sound to create a force field that keeps the objects in place. By carefully controlling the output of the loudspeakers, the object can be either held in place, moved or rotated. Asier Marzo, PhD student and the lead author, said: “It was an incredible experience the first time we saw the object held in place by the tractor beam. All my hard work has paid off. It’s brilliant.” Bruce Drinkwater, Professor of Ultrasonics in the University of Bristol‘s Department of Mechanical Engineering, added: “We all know that soundwaves can have a physical effect. But here we have managed to control the sound to a degree never previously achieved.

Source: http://www.sussex.ac.uk/

 

How To Bend Acoustic and Elastic Waves

Sound waves passing through the air, objects that break a body of water and cause ripples, or shockwaves from earthquakes all are considered “elasticwaves. These waves travel at the surface or through a material without causing any permanent changes to the substance’s makeup. Now, engineering researchers at the University of Missouri (MU) have developed a material that has the ability to control these waves, creating possible medical, military and commercial applications with the potential to greatly benefit society.
acoustic waves
Methods of controlling and manipulating subwavelength acoustic and elastic waves have proven elusive and difficult; however, the potential applications — once the methods are refined—are tremendous,” said Guoliang Huang, associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering in the College of Engineering at MU. “Our team has developed a material that, if used in the manufacture of new devices, could have the ability to sense sound and elastic waves. By manipulating these waves to our advantage, we would have the ability to create materials that could greatly benefit society—from imaging to military enhancements such as elastic cloaking — the possibilities truly are endless.
Source: http://munews.missouri.edu/