read about acoustics

Read about acoustics

Do you want to learn about past research or ongoing projects? Check out these free resources and read about acoustics!

Acoustics Today

This quarterly magazine contains tutorials, technical articles, ASA news, and more. The pieces in the magazine are aimed at people with a general background in acoustics, but might not be versed in the particular featured subject. Read about acoustics from any issue here.


Lay Language Papers

Lay language papers are short versions of papers and talks presented at Annual Meetings of the Acoustical Society of America. Please keep in mind that some of the research described in the lay papers may not have yet been peer reviewed. See all papers here.

Are They Absent or Just Undetected: Using Sound to See Secretive, Rare Marine Species?

If we cant see animals because of their naturally secretive behavior, how do we know they are really there and in what numbers so that we can make responsible conservation policy decisions about vulnerable habitats? This situation is exacerbated in Polar Regions where peculiar logistical difficulties of working in pack ice make survey effort enormously expensive, so a further challenge is to gather data cost-effectively. Acoustics, seeing animals with sound using an animals vocalizations as a proxy for field sightings, can be a simple, cost-effective tool. Some marine animals have stereotyped long-range signals which are ideal for cost-effective, repeatable surveying.

Noise from Energy Efficient Hand Dryers: Is This Progress?

A survey was conducted to measure the sound levels from several different models of installed hand dryers. During the survey, the measurements were performed with and without hands in the airstream. This was found to be a significant factor to the loudness of the hand dryer. For some newer hand dryers models, high-speed airflows blowing onto the hands generates substantially higher noise levels.

Proactive Regulation Engenders Creative Innovation Quieting the Jack Hammer

Innovative, proactive regulation can successfully drive product development for lower noise emission levels to the benefit of the community and workers. In 2002, the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) undertook to completely revise the city’s Noise Code; the first major recrafting of the code in thirty years. The goal was to improve the quality of life for the people of New York City, but it is also having the collateral benefit of reducing occupational noise exposure for construction workers.

Buffalo Horns and Frog Calls: Some Ancient Free Reed Instruments from Southeast Asia

Free reed instruments were widespread in Southeast and East Asia for long before the “modern” Western free reed instruments, including the harmonica and the accordion-concertina “squeezebox” family, were developed in Europe starting about two hundred years ago. In the last 20 years there has been considerable interest in the acoustics of free reed instruments, including the Asian free reed mouth organs. This paper deals with two of the very simplest instruments of this type: the enggung of Bali, a single free reed without pipe-resonator, and the free reed buffalo horn, in which a single free reed is mounted in the side of the animal horn. It is hoped that study of these simple instruments will improve understanding of the acoustics of the free reed and the interaction of the reed with a resonator.

Termite Head-Banging: Sounding the Alarm

When the Formosan subterranean termite (FST) (Coptotermes formosanus) and the native subterranean termite (RF) (Reticulitermes flavipes) detect a potential breach, the soldiers will usually bang their heads apparently to attract other soldiers for defense and to recruit additional workers to repair any breach.