Have researchers discovered the sound of the stars?

23 marzo 2015

A chance discovery has provided experimental evidence that stars may generate sound. The study of fluids in motion – now known as hydrodynamics – goes back to the Egyptians, so it is not often that new discoveries are made. However when examining the interaction of an ultra-intense laser with a plasma target, the team observed something unexpected. Scientists realized that in the trillionth of a second after the laser strikes, plasma flowed rapidly from areas of high density to more stagnant regions of low density, in such a way that it created something like a traffic jam. Plasma piled up at the interface between the high and low density regions, generating a series of pressure pulses: a sound wave. However, the sound generated was at such a high frequency that it would have left even bats and dolphins struggling!