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Articles on Sound

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Headphone designers have to balance scientific limitations with human preferences. Vladimir Godnik via Getty Images

Great headphones blend physics, anatomy and psychology – but what you like to listen to is also important for choosing the right pair

There is a lot to consider when buying a new pair of headphones. A professional musician and acoustics researcher explains how the science of sound and quirks of human hearing make for a great listening experience.
A leap and a plunge into the snow could earn this arctic fox its supper. Jupiterimages/PHOTOS.com via Getty Images

How do arctic foxes hunt in the snow?

Arctic foxes have a few special talents that help them sneak up on unseen prey and pounce.
The Rev. Philip Dinwiddie sings to a pre-recording of mass at St. James Episcopal Church in Grosse Ile, Michigan. Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

How the sound of religion has changed in the pandemic

A team of scholars have been documenting the sound of worship for six years. Since the lockdown, they have heard a different form of religious expression.
One of the Klasies River spinning discs and the replica built for the recording studio. Kumbani et al (2019), Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports

How our African ancestors made sound in the Stone Age

Working with bone artefacts from archaeological sites in South Africa’s southern Cape region, we’ve been able to show that some implements might have been used for sound production in the past.
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.

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