Physicists at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology have experimentally demonstrated a system capable of perfect sound absorption. Acoustic waves go in, nothing comes back out. At all.
As often as we may like to imagine quietude, it's not a particularly natural phenomenon. An acoustic insulator may do a pretty good job of soaking up a small range of sounds, but some of that energy is always going to be reflected back, even if at very tiny scales. A material may be a highly complex composite of many different layers of many different viscosities, with each one tuned to absorb some wavelength of sound—what's called a gradient-index material—but imagining that material with all of the layers required to capture all of the different acoustic wavelengths is not very reasonable.
But there are other approaches.
Get creative feedback or just tell us your cat's name. Anything goes here!
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