Even the highest level academic experts doubted George Mason University engineering students Seth Robertson and Viet Tran’s plan to extinguish fire with sound, but the students’ technology proved that turning up the bass can actually beat the blaze.
By blasting a fire with low-frequency sound waves in the 30 to 60 hertz range (that “thump-thump bass in hip-hop”), the extinguisher can then separate oxygen from fuel.
“The pressure wave is going back and forth, and that agitates where the air is. That specific space is enough to keep the fire from reigniting,” Tran told the Washington Post.
Robertson and Tran envision their creative invention putting out fires at home and in the wild — eliminating the need to douse forests in chemicals or waste gallons of water. But the hope is still far from reality as the students’ extinguisher has only put out fires that use rubbing alcohol as fuel.