Musical Fire Table! | Summary and Q&A

April 17, 2014
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Musical Fire Table!


A team in Denmark has created a two-dimensional Ruben's tube called the Pyro Board, which uses flammable gas and sound waves to create mesmerizing standing wave patterns.

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Questions & Answers

Q: What is a Ruben's tube?

A Ruben's tube is a pipe with holes that pumps in flammable gas, which is then lit on fire, creating a row of Bunsen burners. When sound is played into the tube, standing waves are formed.

Q: Why did the team create the Pyro Board?

The team wanted to take the Ruben's tube experiment to the next level by creating a two-dimensional version with 2,500 holes. They believed that adding more fire would enhance the experience.

Q: How does the frequency of the sound affect the standing wave pattern?

Lower frequencies create longer wavelength standing waves, while higher frequencies produce shorter wavelength standing waves. The standing wave pattern can be observed through the flames on the Pyro Board.

Q: Can the standing waves be heard as well as seen?

Yes, the team discovered that by using microphones, they could hear the standing wave patterns. Areas with intense flames corresponded to anti-nodes, while areas with low flame height were nodes.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • The Pyro Board is a two-dimensional version of a Ruben's tube, with 2,500 holes filled with flammable gas to create a row of Bunsen burners.

  • By playing sounds into the Pyro Board, standing waves are formed, resulting in areas with intense flames and areas with low flame height.

  • Different frequencies and volumes produce different standing wave patterns and can be seen and heard through the flames.

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