Research

Extinguishing Fires With Sound

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Engineering students from George Mason University have built a fire extinguisher that uses sound to put out flames. Since sound waves are mechanical pressure waves, they can move the air surrounding a burning material. Through trial and error the students found the high-frequency sound had little effect, but at frequencies between 30-60 Hz the sound waves could jostle enough oxygen away from the flame to extinguish the fire. They’re hoping the solution is scalable and can be applied to larger fires. For other wild ideas for chemical-less fire extinguishers, check out how researchers put out fires with explosions.  (Video credit: George Mason University; submitted by @isanaht)

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