Time reversal with LEGO minifigures

With LEGO’s rising popularity, people are finding all sorts of uses for it nowadays, including demonstrating a scientific process called time reversal.

Time reversal, as Professor Brian Anderson of Brigham Young University explains to Digital Journal, “is really like ventriloquism. But instead of throwing our voice to another place, we’re focusing vibrations at a target location that may be far from where the vibrations originated.”

Professor Anderson and his team of researchers have developed a technology that, having ‘caught’ an entire sound they have activated with a specially designed sensor, can reverse and target soundwaves to specific locations.

This has been developed to detect cracks in nuclear waste containers, as it allows for vibrations to be focused far from where they may have originated. Other researchers are testing the science on tracking objects deep under water, as it is seen as a superior process to sonar. It is also used to destroy kidney stones in patients.

Whilst the technology is described in The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, when you want to demonstrate a complicated process, use LEGO.


If you had a laser-guided technology that could target specific minifigures on a display, would you use it for good or evil?

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