Articles on Sound

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The crests (bright) and troughs (dark) of waves spread out after they were produced. The picture applies to both light and sound waves. Titima Ongkantong

A new type of laser uses sound waves to help to detect weak forces

Most people are familiar with lasers. But what about a laser made with sound rather than light? A couple of physicists have now created one that they plan to use for measuring imperceivable forces.
Excuse me! Photo by Natasha Kasim on Unsplash

Curious Kids: why are burps so loud?

As gas from your stomach comes up your food pipe, it makes the surface of the upper part of your oesophagus rattle and vibrate. It is a bit like windows that rattle during a windy storm.
Imagine this with a sound track – sunset near Turtle Rock, Joshua Tree National Park. NPS / Hannah Schwalbe

Listening to nature: How sound can help us understand environmental change

From bird songs to wind patterns, sound is a key but often underappreciated element of natural places. Learning how to listen to nature can alert us to changes in the environment before we see them.
Record companies released stereo demonstration albums that showcased how sound could move from left to right, creating a sense of movement. From the collection of Janet Borgerson and Jonathan Schroeder

How stereo was first sold to a skeptical public

Sixty years ago, stereo promised to forever change the way people listened to music. But how could record companies convince customers to buy a new record player, speakers and amplifier?
An F/A-18 Hornet breaking the sound barrier. Wikimedia Commons

Riverfire, sonic awe and the pornography of war

Fly-bys by RAAF Super Hornets and army helicopters are a noisy finale to the Brisbane Festival. While many find this sound awe-inspiring, what of those with lived experience of war?
What sounds did the people of Chaco Canyon hear during daily life? David E. Witt

Soundscapes in the past: Adding a new dimension to our archaeological picture of ancient cultures

We tend to think of archaeological sites as dead silent – empty ruins left by past cultures. But this isn't how the people who lived in and used these sites would have experienced them.
A red fox listening for prey under the snow in Yellowstone National Park. Noise can affect foxes and other animals that rely on their hearing when they hunt. Neal Herbert/NPS

Human noise pollution is disrupting parks and wild places

A recent study finds that noise from human activities is intruding into many parks and other protected areas. Creating quiet zones and noise corridors can help reduce impacts from noise pollution.

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