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New form of plasma speaker




Benm

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It's cool, but not really a "new" phenomenon at all. Pulsed lasers have been able to create air breakdown for decades. I've seen it in action first somewhere in the 90s, though i'm not sure about how loud the sound was exactly. Definitely loud as in >80 dB for a meter or two away, but noting like 130.
 

diachi

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That's funny, I was just thinking about how you'd go about using the laser induced breakdown of air to play music the other night.
 

paul1598419

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Yeah, this is not new, nor will it ever give anything close to "good" audio. Maybe something along the lines of Tesla coil's music, which isn't all that great. You can't get more complex than a three note cord, but mostly just single notes. It is an amusing phenomena, but won't take the place of a good stereo system.
 

WizardG

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It's cool, but not really a "new" phenomenon at all. Pulsed lasers have been able to create air breakdown for decades. I've seen it in action first somewhere in the 90s, though i'm not sure about how loud the sound was exactly. Definitely loud as in >80 dB for a meter or two away, but noting like 130.

If I understand the article correctly the 'new' part of this is that they are using a second laser (or at least a second pulse) to further heat the little ball of plasma created by the first pulse. That's how they're getting the 130+ decibel 'bangs'.
 

Nutball

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Non lethal, but sounds pretty dangerous. I winder if this is partially how ball lightning works?
 

paul1598419

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It is unlikely. What you are referring to is known as St. Elmo's fire. It is the fluorescence of O2 and N2 molecules in the air when it is dark outside by electric fields from clouds and the ground or water of ~100 kV/m. It is most notable on sharp objects as the electric field can be less at curved objects. Things like mast heads of sailing ships and lightning rods are good examples of where it can be seen at night during electrical storms.
 

WizardG

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It is unlikely. What you are referring to is known as St. Elmo's fire. It is the fluorescence of O2 and N2 molecules in the air when it is dark outside by electric fields from clouds and the ground or water of ~100 kV/m. It is most notable on sharp objects as the electric field can be less at curved objects. Things like mast heads of sailing ships and lightning rods are good examples of where it can be seen at night during electrical storms.

Ball lightning is very different from St. Elmo's fire. It's much weirder and still very poorly understood.
 

WizardG

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