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Long-lasting sound waves in glass could lead to better tech

Scientists have found a way to control the longevity of sound.
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Sound lasts for a long time when traveling through glass (just hit a wine glass with your cutlery if you need proof), but controlling the lifetime of that sound? Not so easy. Yale scientists, however, have discovered a way to extend the lifespan of sound waves that could be tremendously helpful for technology. The team shot a laser into a glass-based fiber optic waveguide, giving it the ability to both generate a sound at one frequency and extend it by creating a strong acoustic wave at another -- as Yale notes, it's like switching on your stereo to introduce a new frequency and prolong a ringing sound.

Since glass is the key to fiber optic data lines and other forms of tech, the implications are significant. They could introduce new approaches to "high-precision sensing and information processing," according to Yale -- say, using sound instead of light for processors or network links. While it's far, far too early for this sound wave tech to find its way into a product you can buy, it won't be surprising if you hear about additional breakthroughs stemming from the work you see here.

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