from the I've-heard-it-all dept.
EPFL scientists have invented a new type of "acoustic prism" that can split a sound into its constituent frequencies. Their acoustic prism has applications in sound detection. [...] Hervé Lissek and his team at EPFL have invented an "acoustic prism" that splits sound into its constituent frequencies using physical properties alone. Its applications in sound detection are published in the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America .
The acoustic prism is entirely man-made, unlike optial[sic] prisms, which occur naturally in the form of water droplets. Decomposing sound into its constituent frequencies relies on the physical interaction between a sound wave and the structure of the prism. The acoustic prism modifies the propagation of each individual frequency of the sound wave, without any need of computations or electronic components.