Latest Steven Cummer Stories

A 3D Acoustic Cloak That Hides Objects From Sound
2014-03-12 12:14:17

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Engineers at Duke University have demonstrated the world’s first three-dimensional acoustic cloaking device. The scientists reported in the journal Nature Materials that they have created a new device that reroutes sound waves to create the impression that the cloak and whatever it covers is not there. This technology could one day be used by the US Navy as a way to avoid sonar detection. According to the researchers, the acoustic...

2011-06-25 07:39:27

Scientists have developed a new device that makes objects invisible to sound waves. The approach borrows ideas from attempts to "cloak" objects from light. The scientists said it uses simple plastic sheets with arrays of holes, and could be put to use in making ships invisible to sonar or in an acoustic design for concert halls. Researchers have put forth effort to try and create "invisibility cloaks" since the feasibility of the idea was theorized in 2006. Those approaches are based on...

2009-08-24 12:45:00

Duke University researchers have captured images of lightning bolts shooting upwards. The rare phenomenon, known as "gigantic jets," was photographed during tropical storm Cristobal last year. The gigantic jets shot more than 40 miles high, Duke Professor Steven Cummer and colleagues wrote in the journal Nature Geoscience. "Despite poor viewing conditions as a result of a full moon and a hazy atmosphere, we were able to clearly capture the gigantic jet," said Cummer. "What we were able to...

2008-01-09 15:05:24

DURHAM, N.C. -- Contrary to earlier predictions, Duke University engineers have found that a three-dimensional sound cloak is possible, at least in theory. Such an acoustic veil would do for sound what the "invisibility cloak" previously demonstrated by the research team does for microwaves--allowing sound waves to travel seamlessly around it and emerge on the other side without distortion (http://www.pratt.duke.edu/news/?id=792). "We've devised a recipe for an acoustic material that would...

2005-06-07 12:35:00

NASA -- Giant red blobs, picket fences, upward branching carrots, and tentacled octopi -- these are just a few of the phrases used to describe sprites -- spectacular, eerie flashes of colored light high above the tops of powerful thunderstorms that can travel up to 50 miles high in the atmosphere. Sprites, so-named by a University of Alaska scientist inspired by the creatures in Shakespeare's "The Tempest," have been observed since the 1800s, though rarely visible from the ground. Aircraft...

Word of the Day
  • Like a worm in form or movement; vermiform; tortuous or sinuous; also, writhing or wriggling.
  • Like the track or trace of a worm; appearing as if worm-eaten; vermiculate.
  • Marked with fine, close-set, wavy or tortuous lines of color; vermiculated.
  • A form of rusticated masonry which is so wrought as to appear thickly indented with worm-tracks.
This word ultimately comes from the Latin 'vermis,' worm.