Rubens Tube Experiment - sound into fire

Doctor Q

Administrator
Original poster
Staff member
Sep 19, 2002
38,211
4,624
Los Angeles
OK, science experts. How does this work?

Rubens Tube Experiment

I certainly like the visual display along with the Foo Fighters music, but I'd like to understand it better (the science, not the Foo Fighters music).

Less-serious questions: Can I get one of these for my home stereo system? Will it be compatible with an iPod Hi-Fi?
 

WildCowboy

Administrator/Editor
Staff member
Jan 20, 2005
17,475
1,464
Very cool...he actually does a pretty good job of explaining how it works. The resonance of the tone generates a standing wave inside the tube. Since sound waves are created by differences in pressure, the wave results in varying amounts of propane being forced through the holes.

Awesome. :D
 

Unorthodox

macrumors 65816
Mar 3, 2006
1,087
1
Not at the beach...
Magic, Q. Magic.

That would make a cool singing birthday cake candle.
Hmmm....


Seriously though.... Just what the guy said.
Something happens somewhere somewhere resulting in what you see.

Duh.
 

clayj

macrumors 604
Jan 14, 2005
7,501
433
visiting from downstream
Wow, very cool... and it's almost common sense how it works, once it's explained.

This seems like the sort of thing that would make a cool display in some high-end, trendy club in NYC or LA. Just make the tube out of metal instead of PVC (so you don't have to worry about anything melting or burning), and hook it into the club's sound system.
 

Unorthodox

macrumors 65816
Mar 3, 2006
1,087
1
Not at the beach...
clayj said:
This seems like the sort of thing that would make a cool display in some high-end, trendy club in NYC or LA.
Or a homemade iTunes visualizer...
That just might be stupid enough to work!

*runs to Home Depot*
*faints from the running*
*stumbles home*
*gets in car and drives to Home Depot*
 

OutThere

macrumors 603
Dec 19, 2002
5,730
3
NYC
We did that in my freshman physics course in high school...it was pretty awesome. My teacher hooked up his guitar amp to a small speaker that he fit to the end of the pipe, and rocked out for an entire lab period while we were just mesmerized. :D

It's much better in person, and with the lights out and shades totally shut, naturally. :D
 

®îçhå®?

macrumors 68000
Mar 7, 2006
1,826
2
That does look rather cool. I might have to show it to my electronics teacher and see if we can do it.
 
You can do the same thing with water, as they do at the exploratorium, since what this is doing is showing the shape of sound waves, through its effect on an object. If anyone on these boards is impressed by this, eithergo down to the exploratiorium or try it yourself. AS others have said, it really is more impressive in person.
 

WildCowboy

Administrator/Editor
Staff member
Jan 20, 2005
17,475
1,464
yellow said:
Errr... exactly WHICH "exploratorium" would this be? Jerusalem? Bethlehem?
I assume the one in San Francisco...best science museum I've ever seen. I've been there twice in the last month and haven't seen that exhibit, although they're in the process of changing a lot of exhibits and I didn't make it all the way through the place either time. I have seen it in the past though...very cool, but fire is even cooler. :cool:

As amazing as the Exploratorium (I always end up completely exhausted before I make it through the whole thing), they're raising money to move to a new facility that's three times the size of the current one. Yowzers.
 

Doctor Q

Administrator
Original poster
Staff member
Sep 19, 2002
38,211
4,624
Los Angeles
In what medium are the standing waves created -- the air? Do the standing waves result from a multiple of a fundamental frequency or from reflected waves? Is a fundamental frequency the same as a resonant frequency? I need to brush up on my fluid dynamics, which was the physics class I had the most trouble with.
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.