I spent some time checking on Dr. Pendry’s (UK) and Dr. Smith’s (USA) respective research on metamaterials and cloaking. There’s a real void of publication heading into this November’s MetaMaterials Convention in China. These guys have probably solved the audio cloaking puzzle months ago and are headed into exciting new developments focusing in on the visual spectra of enenrgy. Here’s one recent article’s example of what audio cloaking is all about: (quote is from Prof. Harley Johnson, U of Illinois)
Take for example, a concert hall with a pillar that is undesirably deflecting sound and creating dead spots in the room. The cloaking device could cover up the pillar so that the sound waves could travel around it as if it wasn’t even there, Johnson said.
The cloaking device could also be used for sound-proofing. If a house is next to a busy street or a lot of noisy neighbors, the homeowner could encapsulate the house in a cloaking container to force all of the noise to flow around the house and not into it.
If pop music ever became classified as a weapon of mass destruction, you’d see crazy new audio technologies developed at a breakneck speed. I always thought the fans were the real and present danger. I guess the risk depends on the genre.
physicist physicist with cloaking device