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Stanford scientists have made a sound so loud that it immediately boils water



Researchers from the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory at Stanford University have produced underwater sound that is so loud that it vaporizes water instantly, apparently setting the threshold for the intensity of sound in the water.

The scientists used the powerful X-ray laser from SLAC to irradiate tiny jets of water with short bursts of high-frequency energy. When the X-rays hit the microscopic stream of water, they immediately vaporize the water molecules around them like spitting on a hot pan. They also sent a shockwave through the stream that actually moves to the left and right of the blast spot below:

After blasting tiny jets of water with an X-ray laser, researchers observed left and right moving trains of shockwaves moving from microbubble filled Regions away.


Claudiu Stan / Rutgers University Newark

The interesting thing about this shockwave is that it is strong enough to clearly see how it disturbs the water flow, but not enough that the molecules completely collapse upon contact with the mighty X. The researchers suspect that the pressure generated by the shock waves was just below this predetermined breaking point. That said, it also seems to be the upper limit to how loud a sound may possibly get underwater before it breaks and essentially cooks on contact.

The study was published in a recent issue of the journal Physical Review Fluids.

In other words, yes, metalheads, it's possible to rock so hard that you can boil water right away. If you ask yourself, the sound pressure equivalent of this experiment is 270 decibels. This is louder than a rocket launch and corresponds to the intensity with which the entire electrical energy of an entire city is directed to one point.

If you would ever experience such a sound directly, ear plugs would not help because the intensity would tear not only your eardrum, but probably your heart and lungs as well.

So do not try this song at home and remember: a life full of smooth jazz is a long life.


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