See Soundwaves in Space

by Nancy Atkinson on May 4, 2012

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What fun! The science officer aboard the International Space Station, Don Pettit, does some simple but amazing science in his series, Science Off the Sphere. In his latest video, Pettit allows us to ‘see’ sound waves in space.

“I’m amazed at how much fun you can with something as simple as a set of speakers from your laptop computer and a splash of water,” said Pettit who added that he wanted to see how sound waves would affect water droplets “without the complications of gravity.”

Make sure you watch to the very end to rock out with Pettit and see the variations between the woofer and tweeter on the speaker and how the different sounds affect the water drops.

About 

Nancy Atkinson is Universe Today's Senior Editor. She also works with Astronomy Cast, and is a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador.

Torbjörn Larsson May 4, 2012 at 7:33 PM

But would it be rock in space, or music on ‘steroids?

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Shawn Schuiteboer May 4, 2012 at 8:37 PM

Now that was quality television.

lcrowell May 5, 2012 at 3:20 AM

I am going to conjecture the reason the low frequency sounds had a greater effect is because they have a larger range of physical Fourier components. The larger number of Fourier modes means more of them can have a resonant frequency with the water drop.

LC

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Chris Watson May 5, 2012 at 3:39 AM

I though it was because there is a longer cycles between frequency giving the water the time needed to follow the vibrations rather than being so close that by the time one cycle ends another is starting but the waters mass cant keep up causing it to just jiggle like jello on a jack hammer.
:)

Mary Smit May 5, 2012 at 5:27 AM

low frequency keeps the water there longer to study , while the higher frequency just blasts the water away off the speaker

zkank May 5, 2012 at 6:04 AM

A composite video with this and a ’60s/’70s psychedelic light show would be far out!
(I know – moan!)

Has something similar been tried using ferrofluid on the ISS?

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