Certain Bass Frequencies Can Extinguish Flames
Now we can fight fire with... bass? George Mason University engineering students Seth Robertson and Viet Tran have designed a bass frequency generator that can put out flames. After investing over a year of work and roughly $600 of their own money in materials for the device, its current version separates oxygen from fuel by exposing it to sound frequencies between 30 and 60 hertz.
Consisting of a sound generator, amplifier, power source and focusing tube, the current model of the extinguisher takes advantage of the fact that sound waves are also pressure waves, which displace oxygen as they travel through the air. "The pressure wave is going back and forth, and that agitates where the air is," Tran explained to The Washington Post. "That specific space is enough to keep the fire from reigniting."
The project barely saw the light of day; many of the school's faculty members declined to serve as advisers since Robertson and Tran study electrical engineering and not chemical engineering. The device has only been tested on ignited rubbing alcohol, and the biggest issue remains that the pressure waves do not actually cool the area of the fire, and thus do nothing to prevent it from reigniting. While the two only envisioned the project applying to small kitchen fires and the like, the results of additional testing could garner the attention of major defense agencies.
[H/T: Fact Mag]