An Iowa State University professor is working on a way to cut the noise from machinery, household appliances and even airplanes, with help from a NASA grant. Associate professor Atul Kelkar says his work goes beyond existing inventions that try to reduce noise. Kelkar says for example, equipment can be installed in aircraft cabins to override the noise from the engine. Kelkar says current technology cancels out some frequencies of noise by creating “opposite sound”. Kelkar says tones can cancel out some kinds of noise, but not all. Kelkar also uses materials that resist vibration, because vibration makes noises louder. Kelkar’s goal is to dampen vibrations in everything from household walls to aircraft cabins to lawnmower covers, making it a quieter world.
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