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Acoustics world wide press room now open
Date:5/13/2009

May 13, 2009 -- The 157th Acoustical Society of America (ASA) meeting convenes next week at the Hilton Portland & Executive Tower in Portland, Oregon. Reporters are invited to visit the ASA World Wide Press Room: (http://www.acoustics.org/press).

The press room contains news releases and dozens of lay-language papers selected from among the 1,100 talks and posters at the meeting. Lay-language papers are roughly 500-word summaries written for a general audience by the authors of individual presentations with the accompanying graphics and multimedia files. They relate to a cross-section of diverse disciplines, including architecture, underwater research, psychology, physics, animal bioacoustics, medicine, music, noise control, and speech. An index of all the lay-language papers on the ASA World Wide Press Room is at http://www.acoustics.org/press/157th/lay_lang.html.

Some specific highlights include:

WHAT MAKES A GOOD HARP?

"We show that the quality of the sound from a harp is determined, at least in part, by the relationship between the string frequencies and how the soundboard and soundholes respond at those frequencies. Unfortunate coincidences between resonances can cause some strings to 'boom' and adjacent ones to be 'dead.'" See: http://www.acoustics.org/press/157th/brady.html.

HARVESTING ENERGY FROM AIRPLANE NOISE

"A novel acoustic liner system has been investigated at the University of Florida ... When the EMHR under investigation was exposed to an incident acoustic wave with sound pressure level of 160 dB, approximately 30 mW of output power was harvested ... Such a power is sufficient for many low power electronics and sensors." See: http://www.acoustics.org/press/157th/sheplak.html.

CAN NOISE FROM RACE CARS BREAK GLASS?

"... a large tempered glass window in a spectator box at northern Minnesota speedway with a dirt track shattered during a race by the World of Outlaws Late Model Series, injuring a spectator sitting below the window ... an evaluation of physical properties of the window and measured sound level data from a similar speedway and a subsequent field test with a loudspeaker simulating sound based upon data from an actual race of World of Outlaws cars were used to determine whether the window could be shattered by race car noise." See: http://www.acoustics.org/press/157th/braslau.html.

ABSOLUTE PITCH: LANGUAGE BEATS GENETICS

"We here report a study showing, for the first time, that the probability of acquiring absolute pitch is strongly influenced by the language spoken by the listener, with genetic factors held constant. These findings have strong implications for scientists seeking to understand the basis of absolute pitch." (With Sound Clips). See: http://www.acoustics.org/press/157th/deutsch.html.

ARE HYBRID CARS TOO QUIET?

"Hybrid cars are fuel-efficient, clean, and quiet. They may in fact, be so quiet that they pose a danger to visually-impaired pedestrians who depend on car sounds to navigate parking lots and intersections." (With Sound Clips). See: http://www.acoustics.org/press/157th/rosenblum.html.

TIRE NOISES REVEAL ICY ROADS

"The detection of road surface conditions is an important process for efficient road management ... we propose the present detection method that is realized using only tire noises and is able to attain the prediction of the surface conditions with high accuracy." (With Sound Clips). See: http://www.acoustics.org/press/157th/wuttiwat.html.

WARNING MANATEES OF APPROACHING BOATS

"Controlled field tests of the manatee device in Florida's NASA wildlife refuge are proving very effective. Real-world deployments of the manatee device are planned for on select Navy and DOD vessels are planned this year and sea tests of a larger whale system will start next year." (Includes Video Clips). See: http://www.acoustics.org/press/157th/gerstein.html.

QUIETING THE GRAND CANYON

"For many, the Grand Canyon has always been seen as the ultimate in natural theater, imagination, meditation, or spiritual renewal. But because of the incessant plane or helicopter noise -- regardless of altitude -- we are driven increasingly into mental exile. The Grand Canyon may look the same, but it surely doesn't sound the same anymore." See: http://www.acoustics.org/press/157th/hingson.html.

SLEEPY WOMEN SOUND NASAL

"Overall, more nasality was detected in female speech, even at baseline. Under sleep deprivation, the females showed more nasality relative to baseline, and the males showed less nasality relative to baseline. Our data suggest that [the cause is] differences in the anatomy or physiology of the velum that are intensified under sleep deprivation." See: http://www.acoustics.org/press/157th/boyce.html.

NOISE IN HOSPITALS

"Hospitals are very noisy places -- which impacts the health and safety of patients and the performance of healthcare workers ... [a] single set of comprehensive acoustical criteria has now achieved broad acceptance by a variety of public policy groups ... it is important for practitioners and researchers in acoustical science to be aware of the guidelines when designing acoustical solutions for healthcare facilities." See: http://www.acoustics.org/press/157th/sykes.html.

TOADFISH HEAR IN STEREO

"One of the research questions we have been investigating is 'how does the female find the male using his sounds?' ... we can conclude that the toadfish combines input from the left and right ear at the first possible site in the brain, unlike most other vertebrates." See: http://www.acoustics.org/press/157th/walton.html.

RECORDING STUDIOS FOR WHALES AND DOLPHINS

"Whales and dolphins spend a large portion of their lives beneath the sea surface using sound to sense their environment, search for food, and communicate. To better understand these sounds and how they are used, we developed a general purpose underwater sound recorder (High-frequency Acoustic Recording Package - HARP) and deployed it at various remote locations around the world's oceans." (With Sound Clips). See: http://www.acoustics.org/press/157th/wiggins.html.


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Contact: Jason Bardi
jbardi@aip.org
301-209-3091
American Institute of Physics
Source:Eurekalert

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