Home of Rhett & Link fans - the Mythical Beasts!

Perhaps oxygen makes our voices deep and helium puts it back to normal

Have any of you guys sucked on a balloon and thought how ridiculous u sound. Well there is a small chance that the helium is reverting our voices to normal. And here is the science behind it.  Our voices as babies are incredibly high pitched and hilarious. As we age our vocal cords become larger and oxygen seeps into that extra space. Creating what is known in science as the Mathatius effect(it is when oxygen alters sound). Helium reverses this effect reverting our voices to their default settings. 

Views: 134

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Interesting line of thought, but the reason your voice sounds higher when you inhale helium isn't because of a physiological change, it's because the speed of sound changes based on the density of the material it's traveling through. Helium is much less dense than air, so sound travels slower through it. There are very dense gasses you can inhale that speed up sound and make your voice sound lower as well.

Good reply, Flying Ferret, but I think you've got the wavelengths reversed - - sound traveling thru a lighter gas (i.e. helium) is sped up (shorter wavelength) causing higher pitch - - the reverse is true of heavier gasses (i.e. sulfur hexafluoride).  SCIENCE!!!

Interesting.  My thinking had been that since sound travels much faster in water than air and much faster in steel than either, that the density increased the speed.  Evidently I was wrong applying this idea to the different gasses though.  Maybe the molar mass difference between the gasses contributes to the difference (helium has a very low molar mass, air medium, and sulfur hexafluoride very high), or maybe it's the phase difference (solids, liquids, and gasses) having this effect instead of density.  I'm a biologist, so I'm a bit out of my depth here.  Anyone with a physics background have an explanation for the differences?


© 2019   Created by Link.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service