Invention May Do For Sound
What Laser Did For Light
'It's doing something ...completely impossible'
From Correspondent Jim Hill
© CNN 1997
SAN DIEGO (CNN) -- A researcher says he has done something "completely impossible" by harnessing the power of sound, and that eventually it will be available in everything from home appliances to industrial compressors.
Tim Lucas says he made a radical discovery while working at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico that enables him to create more energy through sound waves than was ever thought possible.
"It's not an incremental improvement in an existing technology," Lucas says, "it's suddenly doing something which before was completely impossible."
Scientists have long known that sound is composed of pulsing waves of energy, but it was considered useless as a power source because at high levels sound waves distort into shock waves.
An example is the way sound distorts on a stereo or radio speakers when turned up too loud. But Lucas discovered that by sending sound waves through empty containers of various shapes, the shock waves were eliminated.
Clean electric power generators?
"Once you've done that," he says, "you can add all the energy, create all the pressure, and deliver all the power that you want." Lucas calls his invention Resonant Macrosonic Synthesis -- RMS.
He has used it to power such things as a gas compressor, but believes there is so much potential that he compares what he has done with sound to what the laser has done with light.
His company, Macrosonix, is working on sound wave compressors which might one day do everything from cool refrigerators and air conditioners in the home to running compressors in factories and on construction sites.
The beauty of a sound-wave compressor is that it would do what a compressor does, but without the moving parts required in conventional piston technology.
Mechanical engineering professor Mark Hamilton, who has followed Lucas' work, says, "I don't think the idea struck people that you could use sound waves to do, say, pumping that could be used on a commercial scale. And I think that was the innovative part of the idea here."
Macrosonix researchers say they also hope to use sound to create clean electric power generators, replacing any number of machines with the technology of an empty cavity.

Now We Have Killer Sound!
From Donald Hart

Note: Please read the below except from my physics review newsletter. I thought you would be interested in imaging or asking your guests about the possibilities for causing the populance more discomfort, or bring down UFO's. -Don Hart
MOST INTENSE MANMADE SOUND EVER. The production of sound waves with 1600 times more energy per unit volume than previously achieved has been announced by researchers at this week's meeting of the Acoustical Society of America in San Diego, opening up possible new uses for sound in science and technology.
Sound waves, patterns of compression and expansion in a gas such as air, are often created and studied in closed or semi-closed containers called cavities. In the past, attempts to make such sound waves louder (by adding more sound energy into the cavity) would fail beyond a certain point because additional energy would merely lead to the formation of a shock wave which would quickly dissipate the energy as heat.
Until the late 1980s, researchers thought shock-wave formation was inevitable. In a new technique called "resonant macrosonic synthesis," Tim Lucas and colleagues at MacroSonix Corporation in Virginia have built cavities with special shapes (horns, bulbs, cones) each tailored to promote certain distinct modes of sound vibration which combine in such a way as to inhibit the creation of shock waves, allowing sound waves of unprecedented energy density to build up.
Filling the containers with gas, and vibrating them to generate sound waves inside, the researchers produced sound waves with oscillating pressures up to 500 pounds per square inch. The first technological application for these powerful sound waves will be in an "acoustic compressor" which uses sound rather than moving parts to compress gas inside refrigerators and air conditioners.
(Images at

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