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Posts Tagged "acoustics"

Cocktail Party Physics

Anatomy of a Stradivarius


World-famous classical violinist Joshua Bell — perennial uber-cute Cyber crush of Jen-Luc Piquant — travels all over the world performing, and his instrument of choice is a 300-year-old Stradivarius violin called Gibson ex Huberman. The violin dates back to 1713, when the famed Cremona violin-maker Antonio Stradivari was at the height of his prowess. It [...]

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A “Just Right” Guitar

The MTV Video Music Awards are being broadcast tonight. Since 1984, these awards have recognized the top popular musicians, videos, and songs each year. Young musicians who dream of one day having their very own “Moonman” statue might be interested in getting the best guitar for their money. Luckily, science is here to help. Kazutaka [...]

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How Lasers Could Help Build a Better Stereo Speaker [Video]

Are your stereo’s woofers and tweeters not getting along? Physics to the rescue! Researchers at the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) in the U.K. have developed a way to find “dead spots” in front of loudspeakers. Dead spots result from destructive interference from the output of two different speakers, whether from two separate speaker units or [...]

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Physics tricks could make for one-way soundproofing

Microphone in a soundbooth

One-way mirrors, which many of us know from watching police procedurals on TV, seem a bit magical—how does the mirror know which light to let through and which to reflect? The truth is, it doesn’t. The one-way mirror and its smaller cousin, the mirrored sunglass lens, rely on lighting imbalances for efficacy. If the cops [...]

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Roots of Unity

Your Telephone Is Lying to You About Sounds


Telephones lie about sounds because odd numbers aren’t even. Once again with those integers and sound perception! Telephones can only pick up frequencies above 300 or 400 Hertz (cycles per second, also called Hz), but most adults’ speaking voices are lower than 300 Hz (approximately the D above middle C). And yet every day, people [...]

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