What Happens When You Pop a Balloon in an Anechoic Chamber?

An anechoic chamber means a place, usually a small room, where all of its elements are designed in a way that eliminates most of reflected acoustic or electromagnetic waves, depending on the type of a facility. This way it becomes possible to observe only direct waves, with no echoes or external noises.

Image credit: Jacob Kirkegaard via Wikimedia, CC-BY-SA-4.0

The concept of anechoic chambers is not new, and from the scientific point of view they are already quite well-researched. But if you are not familiar with their operation, try to guess – what would happen if we pop a balloon inside such a room?

The effect was probably quite easy to guess. Although, the interesting fact is that you were hearing a true sound which is produced when balloon ruptures and air bursts out, and nothing else. This makes anechoic chambers a perfect place to study different sounds from the nature, including those that are extremely difficult to hear:

Some people even raise questions about anxiety and stress that can be induced in humans by an absolute silence. Actually, remaining inside anechoic chamber can really cause dizziness even after a short stay, and that is why technicians warn first-time visitors about potential side effects. You will see more real-world experiments and hear many interesting facts in this wonderful video guide to the quietest place on Earth:


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