Anyone who has ever watched Doctor Who is familiar with the Sonic Screwdriver. It’s a screwdriver shaped device that emits different sonic waves which, when implemented properly, can be used to unlock things.
Now science has taken one step closer to making the sonic screwdriver a reality. Dundee university researchers have created a machine which could be viewed as the sonic screwdriver’s great grandfather.
Their device uses an ultrasound beam to lift and rotate a rubber disc floating in water. This is the first time ultrasound waves have ever been used to turn an object rather than just lift it. That precise control over the waves could have a variety of applications. Specifically they’re thinking in terms of surgery applications, but it’s not hard to imagine a way in which it might also be used to manipulate the tumblers inside a lock. Sonic screwdriver style!
According to the BBC the researchers are flat out calling it a Sonic Screwdriver. Clearly The Doctor was a source of some inspiration. Dr Mike MacDonald of the Institute for Medical Science and Technology at Dundee says, “Like Doctor Who’s own device, our sonic screwdriver is capable of much more than just spinning things around.”