Scientists Created A Sound So Loud It Broke Water Molecules

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A group of researchers at Stanford University have reportedly created a sound so loud it instantly vaporizes water.

We know loud sounds can do some damage to our hearing; sound has even been used as a weapon. Now, research from the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory proves just how immensely powerful sound can be.

Scientists at SLAC say they performed an experiment in which they created a sonic force so powerful it "eclipses that of a rocket launch" and instantly boils water.

The study abstract explains that the researchers discovered just how loud sound can get underwater by blasting tiny jets of water with powerful X-ray pulses.

"They learned that when the X-ray laser hit the jet, it vaporized the water around it and produced a shockwave. As this shockwave traveled through the jet, it created copies of itself, which formed a 'shockwave train' that alternated between high and low pressures. Once the intensity of the underwater sound crosses a certain threshold, the water breaks apart into small vapor-filled bubbles that immediately collapse. The pressure created by the shockwaves was just below this breaking point, suggesting it was at the limit of how loud sound can get underwater."

CNet.com explains that if you were to hear experience the sound the SLAC researchers created in the lab without some serious protection "the intensity would not only rupture your eardrums, but probably your heart and lungs as well."

The findings were published in the scientific journal Physical Review Fluids.

Photo: Getty Images

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