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Students Invent Revolutionary Way to Extinguish Fire Without Using Any Water

We definitely like the sound of this.

A pair of engineering students at George Mason University have invented a fire extinguisher that puts out flames using sound. Yup, no water needed.

Seth Robertson and Viet Tran are the two geniuses behind the innovation, which has been in the works for about a year. Initially conceived as a way to douse small kitchen fires, the device could be used in bigger blazes as a way to “replace the toxic and messy chemicals involved in fire extinguishers.”

We’re certainly not engineers, so let’s keep it simple about understanding what goes into making the extinguisher work:

The basic concept, Tran said, is that sound waves are also “pressure waves, and they displace some of the oxygen” as they travel through the air. Oxygen, we all recall from high school chemistry, fuels fire. At a certain frequency, the sound waves “separate the oxygen [in the fire] from the 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.”

Eventually Tran and Robertson found the right frequency and have applied for a patent to give them more time to study the impact their device has on other flammable materials.

Who knows? Maybe there will come a day when we’ll never see a firetruck hauling hoses ever again.

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