Amazing 2D Rubens’ Tube Visualizes Sound With a Plane of Fire

Image Credit: Veritasium/YouTube

German physicist Heinrich Rubens became very famous among nerds in 1905 when he created a tube that uses fire to picture standing sound waves. When there is no sound served into the tube, the flames upsurge to the same height. When a sound is produced into the tube, the waveform truly marks the amount of gas that is served through each hole.

At the point of extreme displacement on the wave, the gas density varies. The pressure is maximum when the wave peaks and the gas is pressed nearer to the hole, which powers more fuel out and bases the flame to grow higher. When the wave impulses down into the trough, it can’t really pull the gas back in. The flame has enough gas and oxygen to continue burning higher until the wave crests at that point once more.

The portion of the wave which marks the midline and rests unaffected is referred to as the node. Obviously, volume plays a big part on how these flames will act. The above explanation relates when the volume is great, but if the arriving sound is silent, the crest of the wave isn’t enough to override the opposite pressure of the trough, and the anti-nodes essentially appear smaller than the nodes.

Physicists and chemists have established an apparatus with 2,500 holes in the top. The key modification is that these holes are not all in a line like an old Rubens tube, but really cover an whole plane.

The consequences are pretty astounding. Check it out:


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