The sound energy forms a 3D acoustic bottle of high-pressure walls and a null region in the middle – pressure field at bottom shows self-bending ability of the bottle beam to circumvent 3D obstacles, while dashed arrows indicate wave front direction (Image: Xiang Zhang group/ UC Berkeley)
Acoustic intensity distribution of self-bending bottle beam shows the predesigned trajectory (red-dashed curve) and the propagation direction of the beam (gray-dashed curve) – the scale bar = 0.1 meter. (Image: Xiang Zhang group)
Using a technique that has possible applications in acoustic cloaking, sonic levitation, ultrasonic imaging, and particle manipulation, scientists at the University of California Berkeley claim to have produced a "bottle" beam of acoustic energy in open air that can precisely redirect sound waves. Able to bend these waves along set trajectories without the need for waveguides or other mechanical assistance, the bottle beam is also able to flow around objects in its path while maintaining its shape.
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