The blaster sound effect from Star Wars is immediately recognisable. While real laser devices emit very little sound, those handy firearms from “a long time ago” produced a distinctive “pew” that showed they meant business; even in the hands of notoriously off-target Storm Troopers.
How was this iconic sound created? As it turns out, foley artists working on the original Star Wars stumbled upon the high tension wires that extend down from AM radio transmission towers. Hitting one with a metallic wrench provided a sound that started with a high pitch, before quickly descending into a lower frequency. This is caused by acoustic dispersion.
Just how does the science of sound explain this phenomenon? Watch this explanatory video to find out:
Pretty cool, no?