SGU Science Picture Of The Week: Anechoic Foam
This looks like some particularly nasty room in a torture chamber, doesn’t it? The only thing this stuff tortures though is sound and radio waves perhaps.
What you’re looking at is called anechoic foam. It is designed to minimize reflections of incident sound and electromagnetic frequencies. The specific foam in the image above is from a specially shielded room at the European Space Agency’s Maxwell Test Center. Its purpose is to prevent radio waves from bouncing around inside the room. This allows researchers to test the individual electronic components of satellites to make sure they don’t interfere with each other, compromising their performance.
The end result is a room that, in many ways, mimics the endless expanse of space.
Rooms such as this also need to be protected from radiations that can get in from the outside as well, like tv broadcasts and cell phone signals. To achieve this they make the walls out of metal, essentially turning the structure into a huge faraday cage.
This room isn’t specifically designed to aborb sound waves but such rooms are very similar to this one. The result is a room that is also creepily silent.
So, if things haven’t been going your way and you want to get away from it all…rent one of these rooms. It’s the best space-time bubble technology currently provides.