Sound is one of life’s constants, so much so that periods of silence have become all the more noticeable. However, aside from its everyday uses like music from ceiling speakers or announcements over tannoy systems, other strange things have been done with sound; some of which have led to some interesting medical military and artistic applications.
If you read these out load and you may not believe your ears, as we take a look at some of the weird and wonderful things done with sound!
The World’s Quietest Room
Ironically, one of the most remarkable things ever done with sound has been to eliminate it entirely. Scientists in Minneapolis, U.S have succeeded in creating the world’s quietest room, which they use for testing very low levels of noise. The walls, ceiling and floor are all completely sound absorbent, and the sound level in the room has been clocked at -9 decibels, which is actually below the threshold of human hearing; because of this, it does some odd things to the people who spend prolonged periods within it.
The room is so quiet that absolutely no echo is produced, this means you can hear your own internal organs working; many also hear the sound of the bones in their ears which make a tiny amount of noise naturally. While your other senses heighten in response to this obscene amount of quiet, it is not considered a pleasant experience. In fact the longest anyone has ever been able to spend in the room is 45 minutes; any longer than 30 minutes and most people begin to experience symptoms of schizophrenia…
Humans have an impressive ability, for good or ill, to refine technology for military applications and it is the same for sound. There have been a number of experiments into so called sonic weapons which are designed to injure and incapacitate rather than kill and the most notable of these is the LRAD (long range acoustic device).
Though it looks like a satellite dish, this device is capable of producing between 150 and 200db of noise. This is ideal for crowd control in riot situations as this level of noise is physically painful and can cause permanent damage if you are unfortunate enough to be in front of it. Also, similar sonic weapons have been used to on cruise ships to ward of pirates without killing them.
As we have seen, sound and the extreme absence of it can cause severe harm; however, sound has also been used within medicine to help treat certain conditions and treat wounds. Research is being conducted into high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) and its ability to heal wounds. The process takes sound energy and focuses it on a specific location. The focused energy heats up enough to cauterise a wound. Though it sounds like something out of science fiction, the technology seems to have promise.
Also, it has been discovered that HIFU can be used to destroy cancerous tissues, as well as heal a variety of internal injuries. Though the technology is not widespread at the moment, there are a number of clinics popping up around the world. As ever, with more trials and success stories, it seems more and more likely that HIFU will become as common as the X-ray in years to come.
While these are some of the more remarkable things done with sound, Create Automation supplies a vast range of household home cinema systems and speakers to suit all requirements from a number of reputable manufacturers including Kramer and Nuvo Systems. Our full product range can be viewed online; but if you have any questions or queries, do not hesitate to get in touch today via our website!