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.
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
The World Health Organisation states that loud noise is the single biggest preventable cause of hearing loss in the UK. Due to advances in portable media player technology, users are now able to store and play music for much longer. Due to this, there is a huge potential risk for overexposure to noise using these devices. It is now estimated that over 4 million young people in the UK are suffering with the effects of noise induced hearing loss from listening to amplified music in the UK.
To better understand the difficulties of living with various types of hearing loss we have created this simple comparison using a piece of music and an audiobook, that explores the differences between broadband hearing loss, notches (or noise induced hearing loss), old age, and tinnitus.
A relatively new development from VocalZoom, a voice communications company based in Israel, involves the use of a combination of microphone and optical sensor to drastically improve voice communication in noisy environments.
Named “SEEON” or Speech Enhancement Electro Optical Microphone, the new technology aims to offer 20-40dB of noise reduction in situations such as high volume industrial workplaces, busy cityscapes and parties.
The MSc in Applied Acoustics targets those who are working in, or wish to work in professional fields linked to acoustics. It particularly targets people with relevant qualifications who would like to develop their acoustics knowledge to work in acoustics consulting, but it is also highly relevant to people working in environmental health, occupational health and safety, product development and design, audio engineering, mechanical engineering and environmental consulting.
The Soundfield SPS200 is a new type of microphone to Solent Acoustics which can be used for capturing “3D” surround sound.