Scientists create ‘acoustic cloak’

Rick Wakeman had a cloak of a rather different sort.
Rick Wakeman had a cloak of a rather different sort.

Here at MusicRadar, we frequently want to block out the sounds around us - many's the time we've almost succumbed to ringtone rage - and thanks to researchers at the Polytechnic University of Valencia, we're one step closer to being able to do it.

The Spanish scientists have developed a blueprint for what's being called an 'acoustic cloak'. The idea is that objects that are 'covered' with this technology will be able to deflect soundwaves, thus ensuring that certain environments remain noise-free.

The cloaking system is based on 'sonic crystals'; these can channel sound around an object. The BBC News website has further details, and there's a thorough scientific explanation in the New Journal of Physics.

If it works, there could be many applications for the technology. Homes could be sound-proofed and the acoustics of concert halls improved, for example.

We'll settle for never having to hear that Crazy Frog mobile alert again.

Ben Rogerson

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it.