Scientists One Step Closer to Creating Sonic Screwdriver

Dundee University has created a sonic screwdriver, sort of.  While it isn’t the fix-all magic cure it is in “Dr. Who”, it does use ultrasound to lift and rotate objects (although so far the only object in question is a rubber disc in a cylinder of water).  The “screwdriver” shoots out an ultrasonic beam that can push and, whilst in the shape of a helix, can turn an object.  Cool.

Dr Mike MacDonald, of the Institute for Medical Science and Technology (IMSAT) at Dundee, said: “This experiment not only confirms a fundamental physics theory but also demonstrates a new level of control over ultrasound beams which can also be applied to non-invasive ultrasound surgery, targeted drug delivery and ultrasonic manipulation of cells.

“The sonic screwdriver device is also part of the EU-funded nanoporation project where we are already starting to push the boundaries of what ultrasound can do in terms of targeted drug delivery and targeted cellular surgery.

Doctor Who’s sonic screwdriver can perform medical scans and pick locks
“It is an area that has great potential for developing new surgical techniques, among other applications, something which Dundee is very much at the forefront of.

“Like Doctor Who’s own device, our sonic screwdriver is capable of much more than just spinning things around.”

[Source: BBC]

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One Response to Scientists One Step Closer to Creating Sonic Screwdriver

  1. I once saw a lecture by a physicist who'd done something like this. His machine was a big bank of speakers that spun a lightweight polystyrene disc suspended by string from its centre. He called it "an acoustic spanner". To this day I don't know if he had heard of Doctor Who when he came up with that name.

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