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Homework Help: Applications of Resonance?

  1. Oct 5, 2012 #1
    I apologize for the simplicity of this question. I am not a physics student but am an aspiring author and am developing a fictional story outline that will include applications of resonance (specifically the ability to move, levitate, or destroy objects using resonance). I am trying to stay as true to laws of physics as possible while making the applications integrate well into the storyline.

    My specific question is, can the idea of resonance be weaponized (is this an acoustical weapon such as those deployed recently in Iraq)? Can weaponized resonance be "tuned" to affect the "frequency" of a specific person? In other words, is it theoretically possible to develop a weapon that could use resonance to incapacitate an individual and have the weapon be able to automatically adjust the frequency needed to be "resonant" with multiple individuals at once or instantly from one individual to the next?

    I apologize in advance if this is a naive or overly simple question. I just want as firm a grasp of the idea of resonance and its applications specific to the story as possible. Thanks
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 6, 2012 #2


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    I doubt that. Humans are not tuning forks. You can harm humans with (directed) sound, but it will affect all in the targeted region.
  4. Oct 6, 2012 #3


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    Very unlikely as we are all about the same size and shape. I suppose it might be possible to exploit the size difference between children and adults?

    Google can easily find papers on Acoustic Weapons..

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/2582436/Acoustic-Weapons [Broken]

    Directional pulsed sound might also be a possibility but very hard to make narrow beams due to the long wavelength of sound.

    Now if you were to use microwaves you might be be able to make directional beams and fry someone by resonating the water molecules in their body but there are international conventions on this stuff.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
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