You know the Sonic Screwdriver from Dr. Who? Scientists have that now.

Gahars

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So from what I've gathered, the good Doctor's sonic screwdriver is a neat little device that allows him to manipulate objects with sound waves. It's a pretty useful piece of technology in the show, but it's still only science fiction. There's no way we're making progress towards making it a reality, right?

Well, you read the headline, so you already know the answer to that.

The Dundee University researchers have created a machine which uses ultrasound to lift and rotate a rubber disc floating in a cylinder of water.

It is said to be the first time ultrasound waves have been used to turn objects rather than simply push them.

...Ultrasound waves could already be made to push objects and scientists believed they could also turn them - but the Dundee University team claims to have now proved it.
Source: BBC

Sure, this "sonic screwdriver" might seem extremely primitive next to its fictional counterpart, but this is a pretty big leap forward. The technology also has a wide range of potential applications, like (as the article mentions) non-invasive ultrasound surgery, targeted drug delivery, and ultrasonic manipulation of cells. It's a stepping stone, sure, but one that may take us to some great new heights.

Also, it's science fiction made a little less fiction. Horrific robot wars and doomsday scenarios aside, it's hard to argue with that.

And since I know next to nothing about Dr. Who, I'll end this article with Inspector Spacetime instead: It's not a matter of where you can get this new device, but when.
 

Nathan Drake

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The sonic screwdriver sort of does everything. It just doesn't work on wood, or deadlocked seals. Otherwise, it has been known to undo locks, transmit signals, act as a kind of radar, a repair tool (such as reuniting cut barbed wire as if it was never cut), and more. It's best not to interpret the weapon/tool/thing based on its name alone.

Also, remember, it's Doctor Who. As he is the Doctor, and he does not reveal is actual name, thus the "Who." Everybody just calls him the Doctor. Even he calls himself the Doctor. Nobody really knows why.

Oh, and fantastic show. I'd suggest starting at season 1 (2005) and watching it, to everybody. If you start at the original season 1, well, I wish you luck in watching near 800 episodes of Doctor Who.

More On Topic: It's pretty neat to see the manipulation of sound waves making such leaps. We've had standard ultrasound tests and such for so long, people don't really seem to think of "what if this moves forward, gets better?" I always love something that works as an advancement in the medical field, and potentially in third party applications.
 

Hadrian

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Also, remember, it's Doctor Who. As he is the Doctor, and he does not reveal is actual name, thus the "Who." Everybody just calls him the Doctor. Even he calls himself the Doctor. Nobody really knows why.
I hate it when people call him Doctor Who, although the BBC should have put a question mark in the title.
 

chartube12

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drake needs to watch the revival again. It has proven every time lord gets a nickname/title to use when they first look into the time stream. The purpose for it is clearly something to use around non-time lords. Further more it appears only family are allowed to know a timelords real name.
 

SSVAV

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It's quite interesting.

Did you know that some folks in Barcelona achieved to create a material that cools when under pressure?
 

Nathan Drake

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drake needs to watch the revival again. It has proven every time lord gets a nickname/title to use when they first look into the time stream. The purpose for it is clearly something to use around non-time lords. Further more it appears only family are allowed to know a timelords real name.
I think you need to watch the revival again. At one point, The Doctor mentions when talking to The Master that they both chose their names. At another point, during the fifth season, the 11th Doctor says:

"I'm the Doctor. Well, they call me 'the Doctor', I don't know why; I call me 'the Doctor' too, still don't know why."
Educate yourself on his identity of The Doctor here

Essentially, we never know where the nicknames of the Time Lords come from. It would appear that they simply pick the name that they feel fits them best, though nothing can be proven.

 

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