This is the party trick that ends the party. The alarm clock for your siblings that earns you a wedgie. This is THE MOST ANNOYING SOUND IN THE WORLD. It truly is. And it's annoying to difficulty ratio is wonderful. Oh yeah, and it's all because of science.

If you're feeling too un-annoyed today, start with the video to listen in. Then imagine that at about ten times the volume right next to you. And then get a can and do it yourself! You'll be the life of the one-person party you've suddenly created. :)

For nerding out about science, head to the last step.

Step 1: Nab a Can

Any aluminum can will do! It's the thinness of the aluminum can due to it's strength that will make all the magic. I've found that your standard-shaped 12 oz. can works great. Also, tall ones with the same diameter create an amazing Chewbacca-like noise.

If for whatever reason, you want to nerd out about the ubiquitous nature of aluminum cans throughout the world, this article is a great place to start.

<p>The sound is as annoying as the (complete lack of) 'science'. Resonance, yahhh&hellip;, and&hellip;?</p>
<p>This is an important comment. I'm always trying to figure out the best way to communicate some of the science principles without overwhelming in the Instructable. For this one, I tried putting in a special step at &quot;Step 4&quot; about some of the background science. Any ideas for a better way to do this? I'm always trying to improve! </p>
<p>Did you just add that last part? I think that is about right for the average reader. It is simple enough yet detailed enough for say, a physics student.</p><p>I would just say that this is an example of amplification of sound waves by the phenomenon of resonance. Resonance in a closed tube occurs when the frequency of the injected sound wave is equal to the resonant frequency (or a half-multiple (.5, 1, 1.5, &hellip;) thereof) of the tube which is dependent on the physical length of the tube. A standing wave is created inside the tube which amplifies the sound wave by adding the original amplitude of the wave to itself many times. This occurs due to the reflection of the sound wave back and forth from the ends of the tube, whose length is a half-multiple of the resonant wavelength. The peaks of the reflected wave exactly line up with the peaks of the original wave and other reflected waves and add up to increase the amplitude.</p>
<p>Hey Laral! Thank you! The last step was there from the beginning, but that's also good information that you missed it. Sometimes I wonder if I put the science information after the project payoff whether others will miss it as well? That's why sometimes I sprinkle it throughout. </p><p>The amplification and accumulation of magnitude is just an amazing thing, isn't it? Just to add that the resonant frequency or &quot;natural frequency&quot; of a closed tube will also be dependent on its material or its &quot;mass per unit length&quot; given as p in most resonant frequency equations. Thank you so much, Laral! </p>
<p>Two excellent books that might interest you that I am amazed are downloadable for free from the publisher:</p><p>The Physics of Musical Instruments - Springer</p><p>http://rd.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-1-4612-2980-3</p><p>The Physics of Musical Instruments, 2nd edition - Springer</p><p>http://rd.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-0-387-21603-4</p>
<p>I see you listed the science as a separate part. I guess you can't do any better than that. Please excuse me for ignoring it. That's MY fault.</p><p>And, yes, amplification by resonance phenomena is an amazing concept with remarkable results. One man dedicated his entire career to resonance phenomena--electrical, mechanical, atmospheric&hellip; That man was Nikola Tesla. You may know about his so-called 'earthquake machine' (not the name he gave it), a mechanical device that could cause an entire building to vibrate at its natural resonant frequency, just like the Tacoma Narrows Bridge that you mentioned. His amazing high frequency, high voltage, 'Tesla coils' were basically resonant transformers.</p><p>I should clarify what I said about the modes of the can. When I said frequency, I meant wavelength. It should be &quot;Resonance in a closed tube occurs when the WAVELENGTH of the injected sound wave is equal to the FUNDAMENTAL WAVELENGTH of the tube, which is dependent on the physical length of the tube, and is equal to twice the length of the tube, or a half-multiple (.5, 1, 1.5, &hellip;) thereof.&quot; According to what I read in 'Vibrations and Waves' - A.P. French, these are the harmonics of a tube that is OPEN at both ends, in which case there is an antinode (maximum) at each end. He goes on to say &quot;It may also be noted that a tube with both ends closed has the same set of natural frequencies as one with both ends open, although it differs from it by an interchange of the positions of nodes and antinodes.&quot; So in this case, the closed ends support a node (minimum) at each end. The can is approximately a tube that is closed at both ends.</p><p>As to your comment &quot;that the resonant frequency or &quot;natural frequency&quot; of a closed tube will also be dependent on its material or its &quot;mass per unit length&quot; given as p in most resonant frequency equations.&quot; It is the air that is vibrating in this case, not the enclosing medium. You're thinking of the longitudinal vibration of a rod or tube in which the material itself is vibrating. In that case there is a significant dependency on the linear density, usually given by RHO. With air, there is a dependency on the volumetric density, the mass per unit volume, of the air itself, also given by RHO, and on the air pressure, but since these are constant at STP, it can be said that the resonant wavelength is dependent on (proportional to) the length of the tube. That is the primary first-order dependency that is within the scope of this Instructable.</p>
<p>Not annoying at all lol!</p>
I don't see a video? I was unusually eager to annoy myself and didnt see the aforementioned video. Now I'm so unannoyed I don't know what to do.
<p>Howdy SirCooksalot! This is a great comment. And sometimes videos don't show up on mobile, but it's in Step 1. You can find a direct link here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ioM4AQXSoI</p>
<p>There are a millions sounds that are annoying. High pitch sounds tend to have that effect on us.</p>
<p>Indeed true! Let's collect them all! </p>
<p>argh!</p><p>now THAT'S annoying... ;P</p>
<p>I actually LOVE that sound!</p>
<p>The bigger one sounds like the trumpet of the &quot;Love Theme from Blade Runner&quot; (Vangelis). Damn now I have to go watch the movie..</p>
<p>i instantly thought of <a href="https://youtu.be/KAWoP1kncRE?t=42s" target="_blank">this clip from dumb and dumber</a> - another great project sam :)</p>
<p>Awww thanks Audrey! And that is absolutely the inspiration</p>
<p>I actually found a more annoying sound using the water in my bathtub and something from a shampoo bottle. Maybe not as loud. </p><p>Still cool, thanks for sharing. </p><p>PS</p><p>You look like Fry drinking a Slerm from Futurama. :D</p>
<p>Billions of years of evolution, damn, down the drain :)</p><p>And these people forbid us poking around in our noses!</p>
<p>Alas, you'd think these pre-frontal lobes would go to something greater. :) </p>
<p>I look like an idiot. It is good that no one saw me or heard ;)</p>
<p>It does definitely start out as The Most Embarrassing Sound in the World and work it's way up. :) Keep trying! </p>
<p>I assume that larger cans have a lower frequency of resonance, right? If so, then you can size the can to the person's voice for a choir. What's better than one annoying sound? 6 different ones at non-harmonious tones!</p>
<p>That is so very true. The all-wookie a capella group will have nothing on us in the Most Annoying Choir In The World. :) </p>
I will enjoy making my roomate mad and forcing my coworkers to take annual leave with this. Thank you
<p>Oh then this has all been worth it!</p>

About This Instructable




Bio: The Oakland Toy Lab is a community-based wonder lab for students to build, tinker, explore, make, break, and learn! We are writing up engaging science ... More »
More by The Oakland Toy Lab:100 STEAM Projects For Teachers Sponge Motorboat PVC Saxophone! 
Add instructable to: