New Green Economy

Sound Waves Put Out Fires

Can sound waves bring down a city wall a la Jericho? We don’t know, we don’t think so. Can sound waves heal? We’re not sure, but certainly in some places drums, crystal bowls or metal bowls are used to create tones as a sort to affect healings. For example, for curing a hangover. But can sound waves directly applied put out a fire?

Apparently, yes.

CNET explains: it’s based on the way sound waves displace oxygen as they move through physical space — oxygen that fire feeds on. Without oxygen, no flames.

If you can suffocate a fire, you can extinguish it. Two students from George Mason University worked hard on this. They discovered that music is not suitable for manipulating fire because the sound waves it produces are inconsistent.

They found that a higher frequency sound caused the flames to vibrate, but only vibrate, not diminish.

They found that lower frequencies — 30 to 60 hertz — was the sweet spot where sound waves were able to effectively eradicate or “blow away” oxygen from the flames long enough to suffocate them. And voila, sound manipulates matter.

It’s not Jericho. But it sure is interesting.

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