Fire Extinguisher Invention at George Mason University Uses Sound Waves

Pump up the bass to douse a blaze: George Mason students’ invention fights fires with sound waves.

Seth Robertson and Viet Tran — two engineering students from George Mason University in Virginia — have invented a potentially revolutionary fire extinguisher that uses low-frequency sound waves instead of water, gas or foam with its messy overhaul. The potential for the new technology’s elimination of messy residue or water ruining possessions is promising.

The inventors anticipate the possibility of having fixed automated systems in kitchens near stoves, and even fleets of drones that could extinguish forest fires.

The sound-based extinguisher could also be effective in zero-gravity situations, such as the space station, since the sound waves can be directed — unlike fluids or powders that just float in space.

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