The 2D Rubens’ Tube Is Like An Oscilloscope For Pyromaniacs

This video, via Veritasium, features a 2D Rubens’ Tube ‘pyro board’ that translates audio waves into dancing flames, revealing the hidden waves in sound. 

A Rubens’ tube, also known as a standing wave flame tube, is a tool for demonstrating standing acoustic waves. Invented by German physicist Heinrich Rubens in 1905, it graphically shows the relationship between sound waves and sound pressure.

The ‘pyro board’ takes the Rubens’ Tube to the next level, by visualizing audio across a plane, instead of just in a line.

The pressure variations due to the sound waves affect the flow rate of flammable gas from the holes in the Pyro Board and therefore affect the height and color of flames. This is interesting for visualizing standing wave patterns – and it’s also pretty sick when you drop the bass!

16 thoughts on “The 2D Rubens’ Tube Is Like An Oscilloscope For Pyromaniacs

    1. it depends on what kind of material you prefer, we made a few here in the Netherlands using stainless steel and aluminium. The same size cost around $ 1500 and probably make it back on a few dj event, bday party etc 🙂 its the coolest this ever!!! drop me a line if you want to know more [email protected] Peace

  1. i had a high school physics teacher do this ( in a single tube, like the demo in the first minute). Such an amazing visualization of sound that has stuck with me. And it was much bigger! about 16ft long with anti-nodes about 20 inches tall.

    1. They could make a cubical one (six sides) and take it up to the International Space Station for some 3D cosmic sounds in microgravity. There’s a star man waiting in the sky…

      1. As Gridsleep managed to pass around so swiftly was the fact that this is a “2-dimensional object” whereas a cube is 3-dimensional, thus a cube should be in height as well, which creates the problem of flames always trying to go up (or actually towards the least pressure)
        But yeah space would definitely bypass this. But simply making it on a grand scale with very thin (relative) tubing could also do.

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