Harnessing Noise Power

The roar of a rocket blasting off is the sound of raw power. In fact, the sound waves pack so much energy that if they throb with a certain pulsating beat, they can literally tear a rocket apart. The Pentagon and NASA have spent bundles to prevent this. But Ben T. Zinn, a professor of aerospace engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology, figured there ought to be a way to harness this power. His company, Sonotech Inc. in Atlanta, has developed a pulsed-combustion system that promises dramatic improvements in the performance of municipal incinerators. It should also reduce fuel consumption and emissions in big industrial furnaces.

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