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The sonic screwdriver that is Doctor Who’s tool of choice might not be far off becoming a reality for DIYers according to engineers. The Time Lord has been using one since 1968, but sonic engineers at the University of Bristol say that thay are busy working on sonic technology to open locks and undo screws.

Bruce Drinkwater is the Professor of Ultrasonics at the University, and says that ‘the answer lies in ultrasonic sound waves. By operating the waves at frequencies way beyond the realms of human hearing, they can be used to apply forces to objects.’

He 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.”


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