Doctor Who fans may one day actually get the sonic screwdriver they’ve been dreaming about. Apparently a team at Bristol University is working with ultrasonic waves that could be used to bring the magic problem solving device to life.
Professor Bruce Drinkwater (such an awesome name) says "Doctor Who is renowned for bending the rules of science. But technology has radically moved on since the Doc first stepped out of his Tardis in the sixties. Whilst a fully functioning time machine may still be light years away, engineers are already experimenting with ultrasonic waves to move and manipulate small objects."
Not only do they want to manipulate small objects, according to the press release, ultrasonic waves operating at levels way beyond the hearing range of humans could even create miniature “tornadoes” able to produce enough power to turn a screw. Similar technologies are already being tested, while the manufacturing industry is using it for fastening purposes, the medical field is developing ultrasonic force fields (yea, force fields are real now) that may be able to separate diseased cells from healthy cells! Sounds like ultrasonic waves are capable of a lot more than we thought!
Drinkwater says the Time Lord’s sonic screwdriver is probably a long ways away from becoming an actual tool available to us normal folks. But, he hopes that his work inspires young scientists, engineers and inventors alike to reach for the impossible and make it possible.