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Sound Waves are Making Noise

Over the last several months a number of stories have been published in the scientific community about new discoveries in the world of sound that have led to some very interesting mechanical and medical breakthroughs.

Scientists have found that they can leverage high pitched sound waves in order to manipulate small objects in all directions without any physical stimulant to drive the movement. According to reports, It’s a ‘tractor beam’ like device that brings another Sci-Fi idea off the big screen and into our lives.

By using an 8x8 pad of specialty miniature speakers, operators are able to manipulate a range of high-pitch and high-intensity sound waves that have shown capable of moving a small spherical bead made of polystyrene. In addition to lifting up the object, the tiny sphere can be held in place, moved up, down, side to side, and even rotated.

Here’s a simple, one minute video that showcases the new technology.

From a medical standpoint, it was just announced this week that a new type of soundwave has been discovered and it’s combination of low amplitude and high frequency could allow it to be used for delivering vaccines through an inhalable gas. This new wave actually called surface reflected bulk waves, and combine two previously discovered types: Bulk waves and surface waves.

According to ScienceAlert, this is the first time in 50 years that a new discovery has been made in the world of hybridised sound waves. While the waves are exciting from a vaccination delivery standpoint, it is also believed that they will open up new possibilities in stem cell treatments. As with the vaccines, stem cells could theoretically now be nebulised straight into the lungs to help repair damaged tissue. The combined power of the hybrid wave means that drugs can now be administered at a rate of 5ml per minute rather than around 0.2 ml per minute as in the past.

While these are both still early in the stages of discovery and development, both possibilities present exciting opportunity in the field of sound. Only time will tell if we hear anything more on the subjects.