The Acoustics of Sonic Booms

Sonic booms are something that most people will have heard at some point in their lives, perhaps from planes passing by at an airshow, or from a bull whip (yes, the tip travels faster than the speed of sound!), but what exactly are they? and how do they produce such an incredible noise? This posts explores the acoustics of sonic booms.

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A Guide To Hearing Protection

In many cases the use of hearing protection is essential for protecting yourself from loud and potentially dangerous noise, but there are many different types of hearing protection available for many different scenarios. Knowing which type of protection is the most appropriate for you is important, the guide below should help you to make a more informed decision about which to be using and when.

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Coffee shops provide great acoustics for creativity

As acousticians, we know (or like to think!) that the sound around us affects us in ways that most people don’t realise. Whether it’s reverb in your classroom that means you can’t hear the teacher properly, or in the shower making you think you’re a great singer, the acoustic spaces around us have a pretty  profound effect on the way we experience life, that often goes unnoticed.

This makes you wonder what the ideal acoustic specification for a space is. What’s the best reverb time for music, or the best noise level for concentrating, or perhaps being creative? This is the question that Ravi Mehta, Rui Zhu and Amar Cheema undertook to answer in their 2012 paper; “Is Noise Always Bad? Exploring the Effects of Ambient Noise on Creative Cognition”.1

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Taking a tour around Solent’s new campus building

As the work around the new building at Solent is drawing to a close, students studying with the acoustics group took the opportunity to tour around the site, from the acoustic perspective. Named “The Spark”, the building features a striking central pod, which houses classroom space, and an open topped viewing platform of the full-height atrium.

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Natural Hearing Protection: Hands?

Have you ever covered your ears with your hands to protect yourself from loud noise? That’s the closest to natural hearing protection that we’ve got, but just how much does it reduce the sound pressure level reaching your ear? And what’s the best method? This experiment aims to find out.

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Tutorial: Measuring Reverberation Time – Part 2 – Deconvolution

In our previous reverberation time measurement tutorial an impulse response, created by bursting a balloon, was used as the measurement signal. This is a quick and simple method of carrying out a reverberation time measurement, but may not be the most accurate method. In this tutorial we will look at an alternative method that can provide improved results.

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