Can you unring a bell?

Date:19 January 2017

The proverb “you can’t unring a bell” implies that once something has been said or done, it can’t be undone. But engineers at General Electric might just disagree.

With the use of acoustic sensitive equipment the engineers undertook to unring one of the largest bells in the world – a bell named Mingun at the Kala-ywa monastery in Myanmar.

A lot of imagination and clever thinking had the engineers create destructive interference by playing the inverse phase of the bell sound recorded to “cancel out” the sound of the bell. This produced an equally loud, reverberating noise. The result? Unringing the bell… well, almost.

To test the experiment’s success, a sleeping baby was placed inside the estimated silent zone. Watch the video above to see what happens next.

 

Video credit: General Electric