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Dr. Who's Sonic Screwdriver a Step Closer To Reality

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the daleks-are-coming dept.

Sci-Fi 94

cylonlover writes "A University of Dundee research team led by Prof. Mike MacDonald has demonstrated that both levitation and twisting forces can be applied to an object by application of ultrasonic beams. The team of physicists at the University of Dundee in Scotland (with associates at Bristol University in England) have succeeded in generating an ultrasonic vortex beam strong enough to lift and rotate a rubber disk submerged in water. This latest breakthrough is part of a wide-ranging U.K. research effort to develop a device not unlike the "sonic screwdriver" made famous by the TV series Doctor Who." We covered the beginning of the sonic screwdriver project by Bristol University engineers a little over a year ago.

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First (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39845815)

Screw that!

Re:First (1)

masternerdguy (2468142) | more than 2 years ago | (#39845905)

I see what you did there.

Honestly (3, Funny)

s73v3r (963317) | more than 2 years ago | (#39846645)

Who looks at a screwdriver and thinks, "Hey, this could be more sonic!"?

Re:Honestly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39891545)

Who looks at a screwdriver and thinks, "Hey, this could be more sonic!"?

British researchers!

sooo very cool, love it!

too bad.. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39845915)

To bad the sonic screwdriver got turned into a "Magic Wand" in the new series. Now it does anything the writers want it to do.

Re:too bad.. (5, Interesting)

ThunderBird89 (1293256) | more than 2 years ago | (#39846077)

It was a magic wand in the old series too, after a time. That's exactly why it got written out after a while, resulting in the Fifth Doctor going "hands free", as Tenant put it.

Re:too bad.. (1)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | more than 2 years ago | (#39847173)

No it wasn't. In the old series it was strictly a screw driver. It could emit a sonic pulse but that was it. The doctor actually had other tools he used, like a spanner.

Re:too bad.. (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 2 years ago | (#39853843)

nonsense, used many times as a weapon.

Re:too bad.. (4, Informative)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 2 years ago | (#39847737)

That is always a problem with Science Fiction. You have a writing paradox where the man from the future/advanced race. Has technology far exceeding our normal understanding, however if you use such technology you are using techno-babble to solve your plots.

Lets say you have a Multi-Tool and you are thrown back to the Stone age Cave man. In their mindset your Multi-tool may not seem like a threatening object, small leather pouch. Compared to the Large clubs, and spears with sharp (largish) arrow heads this collapsed multi-tool may not seem like a threat, and say you are locked into a wooden cage. You could just use the saw attachment to cut the wood and your free. If this was a stone age science fiction it would be like you multi-tool has a tool for every situation.

Re:too bad.. (1)

lgw (121541) | more than 2 years ago | (#39851499)

It's not really a problem: you establish upfront the kinds of things it can and can't do, and stick by that. That's exactly what distinguishes Science Fiction form Science Fantasy (and the flipside, whatever they call it: stories where magic has well-defined rules).

Re:too bad.. (1)

Livius (318358) | more than 2 years ago | (#39851753)

It's disappointing the way the writers abuse it, but to be fair, if you had any piece of technology and upgraded it continuously for a few hundred years, it would like magic compared to the original version.

Kind of like a modern cell phone that is a phone/personal computer/camera/video camera/GPS system and calling it a quill because that was what you originally had in the 15th century when you started..

Not Psychically Actuated yet however. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39845935)

Yes, but it's still not psychically actuated, so not as close as you think..

What's in a name? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39845947)

The funny thing about this is that most of what the Doctor actually does with the sonic screwdriver would be better achieved by an IR/RFID transponder than some form of sonic levitation.

Mostly they use the sonic screwdriver as: an environmental sensor, to grab data from a computer (presumably using existing wireless hardware), or to open a locked door (presumably by spoofing a key-fob or similar).

Only rarely do they do things like weld wire, open a purely mechanical lock, or actually drive a screw.

Re:What's in a name? (1)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | more than 2 years ago | (#39847207)

That's the new series. The old series didn't do that. If they wanted a freakin tricoder the should have just used one!

I bet theirs works... (4, Funny)

scrib (1277042) | more than 2 years ago | (#39845969)

I bet THEIR Sonic Screwdriver works on WOOD!

Wonder how it does... (2)

Nitewing98 (308560) | more than 2 years ago | (#39846153)

I wonder how it does on deadlock seals? Or baby seals, for that matter.

Re:Wonder how it does... (2)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | more than 2 years ago | (#39846327)

I wonder how it does on deadlock seals? Or baby seals, for that matter.

As large as the Matt Smith era sonic screwdriver is, I'm pretty confident you can bludgeon a baby seal with it, no problem.

Re:Wonder how it does... (1)

jdgeorge (18767) | more than 2 years ago | (#39846399)

I'm pretty sure it would only work on eared seals [wikipedia.org] .

Re:I bet theirs works... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39846219)

I bet THEIR Sonic Screwdriver works on WOOD!

lmao I need a like button for this comment, haha; because I totally get it, that episode was messed up

Re:I bet theirs works... (1)

cstacy (534252) | more than 2 years ago | (#39850843)

I bet THEIR Sonic Screwdriver works on WOOD!

Yes, but doesn't work on those things which are yellow.

Re:I bet theirs works... (1)

Kittenman (971447) | more than 2 years ago | (#39852111)

Hey! Don't dis the Sonic!

Sonic screwdriver in Dr. Who is actually MAGICAL. (2)

Danathar (267989) | more than 2 years ago | (#39845975)

In the series the screwdriver can do just about anything as long as it's not wood that it's working on (or some biological stuff). The good Doctor uses it to do just about everything. I seriously doubt we have the ability to create a magical device that can by pointing at a computer made by an alien species do what we want.

Re:Sonic screwdriver in Dr. Who is actually MAGICA (4, Informative)

Jiro (131519) | more than 2 years ago | (#39846097)

This is a case of feature creep.

In Fury from the Deep it was used to open things--exactly how you'd expect a futuristic, but single purpose, device to work. He uses it to weld in the Dominators, which is the start of it getting extra properties. The War Games again uses it to open things, but it became an out of control plot device soon after that.

That's why they destroyed it in the Visitation. The new series brought it back and it seemed to have been an out of control plot device from the very start.

Re:Sonic screwdriver in Dr. Who is actually MAGICA (1)

Theovon (109752) | more than 2 years ago | (#39847417)

As much as they want to call it "Sci Fi," Doctor Who is fantasy, and the sonic screwdriver is nothing short of a magic wand.

The whole of Series 5 should have clinched that for anyone paying attention. In order to save the universe, the Doctor had to reboot it, requiring him to cease to exist, although he could be brought back as soon as Amy remembered him? It was even openly admitted that it was a Fairy Tail. This isn't sci fi. As soon as you let go of that, you can start to enjoy it again, like pure fantasy or perhaps some combo like what Piers Anthony liked to write about.

Re:Sonic screwdriver in Dr. Who is actually MAGICA (1)

Jiro (131519) | about 2 years ago | (#39858227)

That especially bothered me because in "Turn Left" we saw what actually would happen if the Doctor ceases to exist. Each problem he wasn't there to fix just made things worse and worse. But now suddenly he ceases to exist and everything's fine?

Re:Sonic screwdriver in Dr. Who is actually MAGICA (2)

s_p_oneil (795792) | more than 2 years ago | (#39850183)

Next they'll make it talk so it can say "Damnit Doctor, I'm a screwdriver, not a blow-torch!"

Clarke's third law (3, Funny)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 2 years ago | (#39846237)

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic

Re:Clarke's third law (5, Funny)

Auroch (1403671) | more than 2 years ago | (#39846349)

Any sufficiently repeated quote is indistinguishable from intelligent thought

Fixed that for you.

Re:Clarke's third law (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39847185)

Any sufficiently repeated quote is indistinguishable from intelligent thought

Re:Clarke's third law (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#39850119)

Almost anything posted on Slashdot is easily distinguished from intelligent thought.

Re:Clarke's third law (2)

zammer990 (2225956) | more than 2 years ago | (#39846683)

any sufficiently simple magic is indistinguishable from technology...

Re:Clarke's third law (1)

Neil Boekend (1854906) | more than 2 years ago | (#39855247)

Any sufficiently analysed magic is indistinguishable from technology. (C) Foglio Studios [girlgeniusonline.com]

Re:Sonic screwdriver in Dr. Who is actually MAGICA (2)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39846367)

In case you haven't noticed, most science fiction TV is really fantasy fiction.

The things they do on shows like Who and Star Trek and Stargate are impossible in the real world, just like Harry Potter is impossible. The only show that could be called Science fiction is Babylon 5, though it too made some errors (the whitestar measured -400 celsius temperature on Jupiter). It's hard to make real honest-to-goodness science-based stories, especially on a TV schedule with one episode filmed every 10 days.

Re:Sonic screwdriver in Dr. Who is actually MAGICA (3, Informative)

s73v3r (963317) | more than 2 years ago | (#39846665)

That's because they're not really supposed to be science based. Any good science fiction is about the people involved, not the technology. The tech is just a backdrop.

Re:Sonic screwdriver in Dr. Who is actually MAGICA (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39846805)

The technology may be the backdrop but it's supposed to be realistic. Imagine a science fiction story set in the present, and it had Americans simply teleporting themselves to work by saying, "I want to go to work." That's not science; that's not reality or even possible. It's fantasy fiction.

The whole point of SCIENCE-based fiction is to put the emphasis on making an imaginary world that couls exist in the real world. That's why scifi is often predictive of future events. (Whereas junk like Harry Potter isn't predictive of anything.)

Re:Sonic screwdriver in Dr. Who is actually MAGICA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39847933)

Imagine a science fiction story set in the present

Ok...

and it had Americans simply teleporting themselves to work by saying, "I want to go to work."

Still with you...

That's not science; that's not reality or even possible. It's fantasy fiction.

And now you've lost me. Obviously in our reality that is not presently possible, but why is it impossible in your fictional "present day"? The only way you could call it a "science fiction story set in the present" is if events in its past differed from events in our past. Like, say, the splitting of the atom caused a wildly different path to be taken than the one that was taken in our reality. And since events differ, how can you say with such certainty that such capabilities would be impossible?

If you're trying to claim that everything in your "science fiction" story can be done with current tech, then in what way is it science fiction? It'd be like me saying I'm going to watch a chess tournament, but turning on the super bowl.

Re:Sonic screwdriver in Dr. Who is actually MAGICA (1)

snadrus (930168) | more than 2 years ago | (#39849507)

You just described the backdrop of the RedAlert game series, including splitting the atom being the catalyst of new tech that we would have had at present day.

Re:Sonic screwdriver in Dr. Who is actually MAGICA (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#39850233)

Any "sci-fi" set in the present would either be better classified as "fantasy", or perhaps "alternate reality" (parallel universe). The point of sci-fi is that it's in the future, and we have no idea what technology will look like then. We can make some educated guesses, but if you go far enough into the future, it's easy to explain away just about anything that seems impossible. Just because we think something is physically impossible now doesn't mean it really is; not so long ago, everyone thought heavier-than-air flying machines were impossible. Today, we're discovering lots of metamaterials with very strange properties, which may make things like cloaking devices a reality sooner than we expected.

To be "sci-fi", it really just needs to 1) be in the future, and 2) make a reasonable attempt at explaining away the seeming impossibilities using technology based on science that isn't too far from our current understanding (otherwise it'd just be "magic"). No, this isn't "hard sci-fi", but that's a subcategory all its own which is far more limited. The better sci-fi doesn't go overboard with technobabble, and explores human situations and dynamics, or possibly the effect of certain revolutionary technologies. The original Star Trek was famous for exploring present-day social problems using a fictional future setting, to avoid offending people too much and making them think outside the box. There's a lot more freedom in exploring, for instance, racism in the 1960s when you're depicting a future society where contact with aliens is commonplace, than to actually make a film or TV show depicting it in the present day ("present" being ~1967). Star Trek wasn't the first in this regard; the original Twilight Zone did a lot of the same stuff, but with an even smaller budget and even worse effects.

Re:Sonic screwdriver in Dr. Who is actually MAGICA (1)

Daniel Klugh (1935646) | more than 2 years ago | (#39850419)

So Stargate and Fringe aren't Sci-Fi?
(even if Fringe is *BAD* sci-fi sometimes)
Where'd you get the idea that it had to take place in The Future? What about stories that are purely psychological or sociological in nature?

Re:Sonic screwdriver in Dr. Who is actually MAGICA (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#39851113)

I'm not really sure how a story that's purely psychological or sociological qualifies as "sci-fi", rather than simply "drama". Just because psych and sociology are sciences doesn't make a story "sci-fi"; the term doesn't mean just any science, it's normally associated with the future, yet-to-be-invented technologies, aliens & spaceships, etc. Ask some random stranger on the street if a movie about sociology set in the present day is "sci-fi" and he'll say "no".

You make a good case with Stargate and Fringe, but those still have some important elements of sci-fi: fictional technologies, travel to other worlds (or dimensions), etc. They're set in the present day, however, they're either what you could call "alternate reality/parallel universe" stories, or basically positing that there's secret technological things going on that the general public has no idea about because of a conspiracy to keep them secret. But make no mistake, these shows wouldn't be considered "sci-fi" by anyone but Slashdot pedants if they didn't rely on technological devices for their plots (namely stargates and whatever the Fringe series used for its inter-dimensional activities). If they were just about secret goings-on by government-affiliated groups with no aliens, no other worlds or dimensions, and no technological devices to achieve these things, then they'd be just as sci-fi as "24", which no one would say in their right mind would claim as sci-fi.

Re:Sonic screwdriver in Dr. Who is actually MAGICA (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about 2 years ago | (#39858665)

>>>The point of sci-fi is that it's in the future

Stupidest comment of the week. There's a lot of science fiction set in the present, or even some in the past (such as explaining how Jack the Ripper was actually an alien doing a brief Earth visit/experiment).

The thing that separates *science* fiction from *fantasy* fiction is that the first can happen in the real world, while the second can not. This is self-evident in the very naming of each genre.

Re:Sonic screwdriver in Dr. Who is actually MAGICA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39859039)

But with that definition, *regular* fiction counts as *science* fiction.

Sure, in our reality we cannot teleport to work. But we don't know everything. As such, how can you say with such certainty that, if past events had unfolded differently, we would not be able to teleport to work simply by saying "I want to go to work"?

Or put another way, how does science fiction set in the present differ from regular fiction?

Re:Sonic screwdriver in Dr. Who is actually MAGICA (1)

cstacy (534252) | more than 2 years ago | (#39850875)

The technology may be the backdrop but it's supposed to be realistic. Imagine a science fiction story set in the present, and it had Americans simply teleporting themselves to work by saying, "I want to go to work." That's not science; that's not reality or even possible. It's fantasy fiction.

Not into telecommuting, are you? "I want to go to work in my underwear!" works all the time for me..

Re:Sonic screwdriver in Dr. Who is actually MAGICA (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 2 years ago | (#39853889)

realistic? meaning having impressive sounding techno-babble? lovable androids? cuddly wookies and critters? Jordi, make me a tachyon phase modulator, and have it done and solving our problem in an hour less commercial breaks. Can't think of a plot this week, no problem says the writers, holodeck and/or Q time!
no popular science fiction series is in any way realistic, it's all impossible fantasy and nonsense, and all unscientific in the extreme.

Re:Sonic screwdriver in Dr. Who is actually MAGICA (1)

jbeaupre (752124) | more than 2 years ago | (#39847511)

Detecting then not working on biological stuff would be good. Intense ultrasound kills cells. Ok, apoptosis (the cells commit suicide).

Screw that ... (2)

Old97 (1341297) | more than 2 years ago | (#39845981)

I'm holding out for K9.

Very cool (1)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#39846035)

I've not heard of "ultrasonic vortex beams" before (props to whoever came up with that name). What would the maximum weight of the levitated object be before the ultrasonic effects started to become destructive, or is that not even a problem? Could we levitate a car (for example), or is this limited to very cool but not very useful lab experiments like superconductor levitation is right now?

Re:Very cool (2)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 2 years ago | (#39846071)

"Ultrasonic Vortex Beamer" would be a crappy supervillain name.

Re:Very cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39846335)

But not a bad name for the supervillain's car.

Re:Very cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39846337)

Or a very interesting BMW prototype.

Re:Very cool (1)

Eponymous Hero (2090636) | more than 2 years ago | (#39846555)

ultrasonicvortexbeam.tumblr.com

Re:Very cool (1)

inode_buddha (576844) | more than 2 years ago | (#39850151)

Never mind lifting stuff. Imagine being able to tickle somebody's G-spot from across the room during a meeting!

samzenpus (-1, Offtopic)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 2 years ago | (#39846047)

samzenpus is a troll, and not a very funny one.

Pedantic (4, Insightful)

nine-times (778537) | more than 2 years ago | (#39846049)

Sorry, I'm going to be a little pedantic here, but the sonic screwdriver doesn't really have any set of capabilities to emulate. Something like the tricorder at least has some vague definition-- it's a set of sensors that can tell you about the material composition and structure of items at a distance.

But the sonic screwdriver? How the device works is something like, "point it at anything in order to get the writers out of the corner they've painted themselves into". There's nothing that it can not do, except apparently that it doesn't work on wood. How are you going to build that, and how will you know when you've succeeded?

Re:Pedantic (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39846269)

How the device works is something like, "point it at anything in order to get the writers out of the corner they've painted themselves into". There's nothing that it can not do, except apparently that it doesn't work on wood. How are you going to build that, and how will you know when you've succeeded?

I have no idea, but sign me the f*** up! I'd love to own one!

Re:Pedantic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39846271)

NNNNNEEEEERRRRRRRRRDDDDD

Re:Pedantic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39846407)

Sorry, I'm going to be a little pedantic here, but the sonic screwdriver doesn't really have any set of capabilities to emulate.

Except, of course, turning screws with sound waves.

Re:Pedantic (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#39846845)

"point it at anything in order to get the writers out of the corner they've painted themselves into"

It's called a plot device [wikipedia.org] in the industry.

Reality isn't one of it's strong points.

Re:Pedantic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39848821)

Sure there is. It's called a pen. And you know you've succeeded when the universe doesn't end, yet again.

Re:Pedantic (1)

l0ungeb0y (442022) | more than 2 years ago | (#39848971)

Implying the the Name of the Device does not contain any form of description encoded in it's meaning.
IMHO, "Sonic Screwdriver" is far more descriptive of the device's workings and operation than "Tricorder" is.

But please, don't let me dissuade you from thinking that they are working feverishly to make a device that does everything that it's fictional TV Show counterpart did.

Re:Pedantic (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#39850287)

Personally, I've been wanting a good electric screwdriver for a long time, and I wish someone would invent such a device. There've been many lame attempts at making electric screwdrivers over the past 10-20 years, but they've all sucked: they're huge and heavy, and turn incredibly slowly, and have little torque. I want something that's no bigger than my little ratcheting screwdriver (fits in my hand), has variable speed controllable by pressure, and can turn as fast as an air impact wrench can zip off lug nuts, and can exert as much torque as my arm can handle.

Re:Pedantic (1)

skine (1524819) | more than 2 years ago | (#39851615)

To be even more pedantic, it is a Magic Tool.

Bonus (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 2 years ago | (#39846073)

It chases away vermin with its ultrasonic screeching.

Will they get sued? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39846109)

So.. in the age of overenforcement of the copyright law, will the owner of "Dr Who" sue the for trying to reproduce something from the show?

Re:Will they get sued? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39846329)

Probably. Most of my childhood memories are now the property of Time/Warner, Disney, or Viacom.

Re:Will they get sued? (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#39850255)

I doubt it. Dr. Who is a British show aired on BBC. It's the Ugly Americans who like to sue everyone for trivial crap.

If Dr. Who were an American show aired on CBS, then I'd bet money that these inventors would be sued.

Re:Will they get sued? (1)

KingAlanI (1270538) | more than 2 years ago | (#39851137)

This did happen to a "tricorder" app, and that would be CBS

Re:Will they get sued? (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#39851291)

Wow, I was just guessing at that one, but thanks for proving my point!

Re:Will they get sued? (1)

findoutmoretoday (1475299) | more than 2 years ago | (#39854251)

Meanwhile the bbc is the copyright holder of 1923 police boxes, probably because they were copied from a timetravelling tardis. In a courtroom time travel can work

Sci-Fi aside (3, Interesting)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | more than 2 years ago | (#39846125)

It's still pretty damn cool. I mean, c'mon - moving shit with sound? I can see this tech coming in handy for shipwreck recovery, among other applications I haven't thought of yet...

Wonder how well it works outside a liquid medium...

Re:Sci-Fi aside (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#39846299)

You could ask your eardrums how well moving things with sound works in a less dense fluid...

I suspect that the mathematical trickery required to get sound waves to push an object in a concerted way, rather than just bouncing around chaotically, was a fair trick; but (normally trivial) moving things is what makes sound sound like sound.

Re:Sci-Fi aside (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | more than 2 years ago | (#39846735)

You could ask your eardrums how well moving things with sound works in a less dense fluid...

Not what I meant, pretty sure you know that... however, if not, allow me to clarify: move big objects. Like steel girders or something else practical.

I suspect that the mathematical trickery required to get sound waves to push an object in a concerted way, rather than just bouncing around chaotically, was a fair trick; but (normally trivial) moving things is what makes sound sound like sound.

Remember that all sound is really just a wavelength, and thus manipulation is a matter of adjusting frequency and amplitude... There probably is some arithmetical alchemy in pulsing the waves just the right way to achieve the desired result, but surely it's not all that complex.

I recall an experiment in which researchers were able to create patterns in a sandy medium spread on a metal plate, suspended above a large speaker; by merely changing the frequency and amplitude of the speaker output, they could create differing patterns and shapes. [sciencefriday.com]

Re:Sci-Fi aside (1)

Darth Snowshoe (1434515) | more than 2 years ago | (#39846965)

With such a tremendous amount of actually useful and interesting research work sitting around waiting to be done, I think pursuing this, largely because it reminds people of their favorite SF series, is kind of a misuse of resources. Just sayin'.

P.S. I absolutely CANNOT see this coming in handy for shipwreck recovery. What is really handy for shipwreck recovery is a ship with a winch and a really long cable.

Re:Sci-Fi aside (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39860061)

Or perhaps, just perhaps, the researchers in question were doing this anyway for reasons completely unconnected to Dr Who but the sonic screwdriver link makes a nice easily recognisable hook for university press releases?

Just sayin'.

Re:Sci-Fi aside (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39847771)

shit with sound

Meh. I've been doing this for more than 30 years.

Woah... I didn't know it had a vibrate function (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39846209)

"And with Three settings! " +1 Master of Geekdom to whomever identifies this quote first. ;-)

.

"I've been wanting to get my hands on one of these female models. And look I've got a pair of Dalek bumps too." - "Those aren't bumps doctor....."

Re:Woah... I didn't know it had a vibrate function (1)

Mr.Z of the LotFC (880939) | more than 2 years ago | (#39854079)

Doctor Who & the Curse of the Fatal Death

Yes but! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39846309)

I still want to see them reverse the polarity of the neutron flow!!!!

SONIC screwdriver? (5, Insightful)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 2 years ago | (#39846311)

"Dr. Who's Sonic Screwdriver a Step Closer To Reality"

"application of ultrasonic beams"

Surely what we're making here is an ultrasonic screwdriver.

Re:SONIC screwdriver? (1)

Flipstylee (1932884) | more than 2 years ago | (#39846429)

"Dr. Who's Sonic Screwdriver a Step Closer To Reality"

"application of ultrasonic beams"

Surely what we're making here is an ultrasonic screwdriver.

It turns things.

-Jon

I never thought it was a SONIC screwdriver (1)

bussdriver (620565) | more than 2 years ago | (#39848235)

Dr. Who brushes over technical details with a generalized summation, at least they did it more in the older series. The new series has some Star Trek nerd BS that rubbed off on it where they feel the need to explain more detailed BS while in the old shows they rarely went into any more detail than necessary to the story. They were/are also more realistic in the sense that some expert (in a hurry) describes things to laymen in a simple metaphorical summation.

It is rarely ever used like a screwdriver.
Character: "What's that?" Doctor: "Its my sonic screwdriver."
Simple description for something that is just a tool to move the plot along quicker.

These days the sonic screwdriver is much more like a magic wand; but then the stories have become more fantasy in recent years.

A sound that kills. (1)

BetaDays (2355424) | more than 2 years ago | (#39846313)

Wait for this to be weaponized.

I was torn between Kate bush's Experiment IV or Dune's "The Weirding Way" so I put both

http://youtu.be/TQeP6GWU0e4

http://youtu.be/a6hvNe11r9U

Face-off: Seven's Servo v. Sonic Screwdriver? (1)

phrackthat (2602661) | more than 2 years ago | (#39846499)

Don't you mean Gary Seven's [wikipedia.org] Servo [memory-alpha.org] is almost a reality?

Re:Face-off: Seven's Servo v. Sonic Screwdriver? (1)

Daniel Klugh (1935646) | more than 2 years ago | (#39850107)

Or maybe you mean that silver doo-dad that Roddy McDowall used in that "The Fantastic Journey" TV series back in the '70s.

Re:Face-off: Seven's Servo v. Sonic Screwdriver? (1)

phrackthat (2602661) | more than 2 years ago | (#39854089)

Well, both the Doctor's Sonic Screwdriver and Gary Seven's Servo were introduced in March 1968. The sonic screwdriver on March 16 and the Servo on March 29. However, the Servo was a true "deus ex machina" device when it was introduced, but the sonic screwdriver was just used to open a valve when it was introduced.

Re:Face-off: Seven's Servo v. Sonic Screwdriver? (1)

phrackthat (2602661) | more than 2 years ago | (#39854117)

You're referring to the Sonic Screwdriver ripoff the "Sonic Energizer", which looked like a tuning fork. That show was cancelled after ten episodes in 1977 - 9 years after the Sonic Screwdriver came out.

Sorry to be a grammar nazi... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39846563)

...but shouldn't it be that reality took a step closer to the sonic screwdriver, and not the other way around?

Light & Sound (1)

DarkXale (1771414) | more than 2 years ago | (#39846783)

Light for Tractor beams, Sound for 'Screwdrivers'. Okay.

Forget the screwdriver... (1)

ShadowCloset (721053) | more than 2 years ago | (#39847577)

...I want the psychic paper.

This is not the psychic paper you were looking for (1)

whovian (107062) | more than 2 years ago | (#39847787)

Oops...sorry...wrong plot device! Carry on!

mod do3n (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39848341)

that sorded, for the statE of prima donnas to pallid bodies and is ingesting have the energy enjoy the loud be a cock-sucking hand...don't quarreled on

Bah, useless! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39849865)

Give me a reverse-ratcheting router any day. When was the last time you saw a sonic screwdriver break the seal on a stembolt?

I heard one of those scientists say clearly: (1)

MPAndonee (1765248) | more than 2 years ago | (#39850341)

"Can't you just Sonic that?"

To which the Doctor replied, "This is not a weapon, it's a Screwdriver! You did not understand a single thing I tried to explain to you..."

Afterwards, he got back in the TARDIS and departed, leaving those researchers at the point where this article finds them today.

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