Video: Students Invent Device That Extinguishes Fire With Sound Waves

Cassius Methyl
April 2, 2015

(ANTIMEDIA) It is now possible to extinguish fires with mini sound cannons thanks to an invention created by Seth Robertson and Viet Tran, engineering students at George Mason University.

The device works to extinguish fires with low frequency sound waves by separating the oxygen from the fire’s fuel. If the sound waves are distributed consistently enough through the fire, it will extinguish it by simply creating a barrier between the fuel and oxygen.

In other words, “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.”

Robertson and Tran, engineering majors at George Mason University, applied for a provisional patent for the device in November.

According to The Washington Post, “It started as an idea for a senior research project, and after a year of trial and error and spending about $600 of their own money, they have built a somewhat portable sound generator, amplifier, power source and focusing tube that would seem to have great potential in attacking fires in a variety of situations.”

Could this finally be the technology that has the power to put out massive forest fires and other disastrous infernos? There are a few other problems that need to be addressed, such as how to cool fires so they don’t re-ignite, but it seems to be well on it’s way to becoming a useful invention.

Their adviser Mark said his “Initial impression was that it wouldn’t work…Some students take the safe path, but Viet and Seth took the higher-risk option.”

The safe path never seems to innovate or excel like this. 

“We still want to do a lot more testing,” Tran said, “to see if we need to change the frequency [to extinguish] other [fires]”

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