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This article references breaking ice through resonance, but is not specific enough for my case: Resonance method of ice destruction

I have a situation where I would like a robot character to break free a mining drill that is completely encased in a block of ice. Could this character use resonance to break the ice? If possible, what would the character need to create this resonance?

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Your linked article has to do with clearing ice from navigable waters, as far as I can tell. It is pretty obtuse! I am not sure how having something move across the ice produces resonance.

For an item covered with ice, you are probably thinking about something like a tone at the resonant frequency being used to break a wine glass.

Like mechanical resonance, acoustic resonance can result in catastrophic failure of the object at resonance. The classic example of this is breaking a wine glass with sound at the precise resonant frequency of the glass, although this is difficult in practice.

At the resonant frequency a solid object will vibrate a lot because the successive sound waves add energy - this is why the wine glass breaks. In theory that might be possible with the ice but it could be possible with the drill or a very hard object like the drill bit.

You would need something to project sound (like an amplifier) and something to create sounds at various frequencies (dare I hope an electric guitar?) until you found the resonant frequency for the drill.

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  • $\begingroup$ Great answer, thanks for the clarification! Haha an electric guitar might just do it. $\endgroup$ – Wayzgoose Feb 4 '18 at 12:43

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