DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) has come up with something interesting – a fire extinguisher that works differently from all other fire extinguishers to date. You will not find it froth out white stuff on the other end of the nozzle, as this particular fire extinguisher will rely on the principle of sonic waves as you can see in the video above. The DARPA team arranged a couple of speakers on either side of a liquid fuel flame in order to show the world just how fire can be controlled simply by increasing the power of the acoustic field. Whenever the acoustic field’s power is increased, so too, will the air velocity register a higher figure – which in turn thins the area of the flame where combustion occurs, where in scientific circles is called the “flame boundary.”

The moment the flame boundary area is thinned, life gets much easier to extinguish the flame. Not only that, the acoustics have another job on hand which our eyes are not able to see – it disturbs the pool of fuel in order to create a higher level of fuel vaporization which will help widen the flame. This thins out the flame for it to be less concentrated, and subsequently, cool enough to extinguish. Does this mean the Sonic Tanks in Dune 2 are able to extinguish fires as well? [Press Release]

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