ProAV Today

Graphene speaker creates sound through heat, not vibrations

By Michael Irving, New Atlas 12/05/2017 12:21 PM Eastern
WHY THIS MATTERS

Just yesterday I was speculating with Chad Wiggins at Shure about the things we consider immutable about sound waves and physics, and what could or could not be emulated electronically rather than mechanically. I don’t have answers, just a sense that the interplay of physics, electronics (and even biology) is changing. The thing that doesn’t seem to change is the primal human response to sound and acoustics. So whatever happens with the gear, the sound experience has to matter. Right? -Cynthia Wisehart

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Graphene may hold the key for a new type of speaker that doesn't need a vibrating membrane at all, instead generating sound through thermoacoustics. Pretty much every speaker works with a membrane that physically vibrates, distorting the air in specific patterns to generate sound waves. But now, researchers at the University of Exeter have developed a speaker that doesn't need to mechanically vibrate at all. The key to this potentially ground-breaking speaker is – what else? – graphene, which is heated and cooled with carefully controlled electric currents to create sound waves. MORE@NewAtlas

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