Scientists have a sound, so loud that it can evaporate water on contact

Scientists used X-ray lasers to make a sound, so loud that the evaporated water on contact.
(Thanks to Claudiu Stan/ SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory)

Scientists have discovered what they believe is the loudest possible underwater sound — a sound so powerful that it can vaporize water on contact.

It is not the sound of a huge undersea earthquake, nor is it the sound of a pistol shrimp snapping its claws harder than a Pink Floyd concert. It is, in fact, the sound of a small water-jet — about half the width of a human hair — is affected by an even thinner X-ray laser.

You can’t really hear this sound, because it is made in a vacuum. That is probably the best, given the fact that, on approximately 270 decibels, this rumbling pressure waves are even harder than the NASA to be the hardest ever to launch a rocket (which measured about 205 decibels ). However, you can use the sound of the microscopic devastating effects in action, thanks to a series of ultra-slow-motion videos recorded in the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in Menlo Park, California, as part of a new study. [Tiny Grandeur: Stunning Photos of the Very Small]

In the above video, which was filmed in about 40 nanoseconds (40 billionths of a second ), the pulsed laser immediately splits the water jet in two, evaporates the liquid that it touches during the sending of the powerful pressure of the waves back and forth to wiggle down either side of the jet. These waves creating more waves and, with approximately 10 nanoseconds in, fizzing black clouds of collapsing bubbles form on each side of the cavity.

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According to Claudiu Stan, a physicist at Rutgers University in Newark, New Jersey, and one of the study co-authors, these pressure waves probably represent the loudest possible underwater sound. If it is a lot harder, the sound “would actually boil the fluid,” Stan told Science — and as soon as the water boils, the sound has no medium to pass through.

Why try to discover a sound that breaks through, in addition to its own medium? According to Stan, the understanding of the limits of the underwater sound can help researchers design future experiments.

Scientists regularly to suspend small pieces of intriguing issue, for example, a certain type of protein crystal, for example, in a liquid jets and blast them with lasers to determine their chemical properties. If scientists know exactly how intensely a laser pulse can be without accidentally destroying the liquid, that could improve the way in which these experiments are carried out, Stan said. That is especially the case for studies where scientists get samples of the material with a powerful beam for the testing of the material of the structural integrity.

“This research may help us investigate in the future how a microscopic specimen would react if they vibrated severely by underwater sound,” Stan said.

This is not the first time SLAC researchers have made use of these X-ray laser for the test of the limits of physics. In 2017 a study, researchers used the same laser to blast the electrons of an atom, creating a “molecular black hole” that sucked in all the available electrons of the atoms in the neighborhood. Taken in tandem, the study and the new result in a unassailable conclusion: Lasers are very very cool.

The new study was published on April 10 in the journal Physical Review Liquids.

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Originally published on Live Science.

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