The next time you’re facing a life-threatening fire in, say, your kitchen, you may simply shout, “where’s the drop?”

George Mason University engineering seniors Seth Robertson and Viet Tran have made a fire extinguisher that works entirely using sound. If you haven’t seen it making the social media rounds yet, of course, it’s worth posting here. Not only is it absurdly cool to watch, but it’s the latest reminder that music, sound engineering, and science can go hand in hand. That is, music is made of sound, and the study of sound overlaps with engineering and physics.

In fact, this is a sound engineering problem: it’s an amplifier, coupled with power, sound generation (think oscillator), and a tube that focuses that sound.

Best of all, here’s what most people would think was a chemistry problem solved by a couple of electrical engineers. 30-60Hz sounds work, with regular oscillations. (They say “music” doesn’t work well, but… well, is anyone else tempted to turn this into a musical composition?)

The Washington Post has a detailed story that’s well worth reading – not all the practical applications are yet worked out yet. (As the video suggests, one idea is drones fighting forest fires – and of course, then you need only electricity.) But it’s still a fascinating project, all built with just US$600 in parts:
When it comes to putting out fire, GMU students show it’s all about that bass

Thanks to Sara Kietzmann for this!