Scientists Make Surprising Discovery: Sound Waves Can Carry Mass


Have you ever imagined that sound waves can carry things? Of course, we've seen this happen in science fiction, but we've never seen it occur in real life.

In a new research, scientists have shown the capacity of sound particles to transport mass. This also implies that these particles may generate their own gravitational fields.

Angelo Esposito, Rafael Krichevsky, and Alberto Nicolis utilized effective field theory methods in their study published in the journal Physical Review Letters to validate a result reported by researchers last year, trying to estimate mass conveyed via sound waves.

For years, scientists have claimed that soundwaves may most certainly convey energy, but no significant evidence has been produced to demonstrate that sound particles can also carry mass.

Nicolis and Riccardo Penco of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia revealed evidence in 2018 that sound waves flowing through superfluid helium might carry a tiny amount of mass with them by using quantum field theory.

Photons were found to interact with a gravitational field, prompting them to carry mass as they traveled through the substance.

According to the study, there is evidence to indicate that the same findings may be predicted for the majority of materials.

They used effective field theory to show how a single-watt sound wave traveling through water for one second might transport a mass of roughly 0.1 milligrams.

The research article outlines how the mass was discovered to be a fraction of the overall mass of a wave-moving system.

It is important to note that scientists did not really measure the amount of mass delivered by sound waves; instead, they utilized mathematical formulae to demonstrate that it would work.

“We trust the results,” says Nicolis, “because the mathematics describing solids and fluids is very similar. But trying to interpret these results at the microscopic level for solids is currently confusing.”

“This is certainly surprising,” explains high-energy physicist Ira Rothstein of CMU. “You would have thought that results like this in classical physics were completely understood. Hopefully, the effect will be measured soon.”

The findings were reported in Physical Review Letters. 

References: Journal PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS , APS Physics


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