Tag: firefighting

Forget the Firetruck: Future Firefighters May Use Ghostbusters-Like Electric Backpacks

By Valerie Ross | March 30, 2011 3:41 pm

We learned watching Ghostbusters that for busting ghosts, nothing beats a well-placed zap of protons from a backpack-turned-positron collider. Now, researchers at Harvard University are working on a technique that could let future firefighters do their job (sort of) the same way, using an electric beam—generated by a portable amplifier, which might even fit in a backpack—to put out the flames.

This futuristic method is based on a centuries-old observation that electric fields can do funny things (videos) to flames, making them sputter and even snuffing them out.

The researchers’ early-stage prototype consists of a 600-watt amplifier hooked up to a electric beam-shooting wand, according to their presentation at the American Chemical Society meeting earlier this week.  In tests, they were able to quickly zap out flames over a foot high.

Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Chemistry, Electronics, Movies
NEW ON DISCOVER
OPEN
CITIZEN SCIENCE
ADVERTISEMENT

Discover's Newsletter

Sign up to get the latest science news delivered weekly right to your inbox!

ADVERTISEMENT

See More

ADVERTISEMENT
Collapse bottom bar
+

Login to your Account

X
E-mail address:
Password:
Remember me
Forgot your password?
No problem. Click here to have it e-mailed to you.

Not Registered Yet?

Register now for FREE. Registration only takes a few minutes to complete. Register now »