FAU Sea Tech Research Demonstrates the Importance of
Wearing a Mask in Public Spaces

Published Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Face MaskThe importance of wearing a surgical mask (or face covering) in public during the coronavirus pandemic was recently demonstrated by the FAU Sea Tech research team on NBC’s The TODAY Show.

In the segment that aired Tuesday morning, April 21, 2020, Dr. Manhar Dhanak , Professor and Director of Sea Tech Department of Ocean and Mechanical Engineering along with assistant professor Dr. Siddhartha Verma and fellow Sea Tech researchers used dummies that expelled simulated cough droplets made out of water and glycerine. The coughed "smoke," 10 to 20 microns in size and weight, was tracked by a laser to measure how quickly the cough droplet "smoke" traveled.

According to Sea Tech researchers, the cough droplet "smoke" traveled three feet in less than two seconds, six feet in 12 seconds, and nine feet in 41 seconds. When asked if you should run in the opposite direction if someone coughs near you at a grocery store, Dr. Verma responded: "Don’t run in the other direction. My suggestion is avoid that area for a few minutes ... it could be lingering in the air."

Note: Watch the full The TODAY Show segment.

 Last Modified 4/28/20