Researchers Created the Loudest Achievable Underwater Sound

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Besides something we hear, the sound is also a unique physical phenomenon, namely a wave of pressure that echoes through the air, and even water. Apparently, only insanely loud sounds can reverberate through water, which is most often the result of specifically loud fish.

A new experiment conducted by researchers at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory has utilized an X-ray laser to generate an incredibly loud underwater sound. The sound was so intensely loud that the researchers say it was, theoretically, at the greatest extent of being the most deafening sound ever recorded in the water.

Claudiu Stan, a physicist at the Rutgers University Newark, said that the sound they produced was just below the verge where it would boil the water in just a wave oscillation. The laser the researchers used was the extremely powerful X-ray laser, also known as the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS). The device is so powerful that it can conceive molecular black holes and heat water to 100,000 degrees Celsius in no more than a millionth of a second.

Scientists generated the most powerful underwater sound

The research’s purpose was to see how sound waves of high intensity that make insanely loud sounds might impact materials and biological specimens.

For the study, researchers beamed extremely small microjets of water, more slender than a thread of hair into a vacuum room with fixated X-ray vibrations of photons. The team wrote that when the laser beams cut in the water stream, the water was heated and the process of ultrafast ionization occurred in the microjet, eliminating the liquid and generating a cylindrical shock wave that spread together with the jet.

These shock waves had primary top pressures that correlate to insanely sound intensities and sound pressure degrees higher than 270 decibels, which is louder than even a rocket take-off, the team said.

The conclusions imply that it’s impossible to generate a louder sound than this in the water, because of the way the water disintegrates if the pressure applied by the shock waves grows any higher. The research was published in the journal Physical Review Fluids.


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