Jack Uldrich
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Sound Off on New Metamaterials

Posted in Manufacturing


I live in Southwest Minneapolis. It is a beautiful part of the city and is near an abundance of lakes and parks. As anyone who lives here knows, however, the one downside is the neighborhood’s proximity to the Twin Cities International airport. In the summer, if you are inside your home conversing on the phone with a friend, it is not uncommon to have to halt your conversation every few minutes while a 727 or 747 airplanes lumbers overhead.

Alas, there may be hope on the way for me and my neighbors—as well as thousands of other people who suffer from noise pollution. According to this article in today’s Technology Review, researchers at MIT have developed a new metamaterial that can distribute sound around various materials. Among other things, this means that the sound from those planes could some day soon simply be transferred around my house.

It is an exciting technology and it is one that architects, builders and designers should keep in mind if they want to “jump the curve” and provide consumers with products that improve the quality of their life.

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