Popular Acoustics News and Current Events

Popular Acoustics News and Current Events, Acoustics News Articles.
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Storing data in music
Researchers at ETH Zurich have developed a technique for embedding data in music and transmitting it to a smartphone. Since the data is imperceptible to the human ear, it doesn't affect listening pleasure. This could have interesting applications in hotels, museums and department stores. (2019-07-09)

Ultrasound imaging of the brain and liver
Ultrasound is commonly used in diagnostic imaging of the body's soft tissues, including muscles, joints, tendons and internal organs. A technology called high-intensity focused ultrasound is also being explored for therapeutic uses including the removal of uterine fibroids and the destruction of tumors. A suite of noninvasive, adaptive focusing techniques -- that allow ultrasonic beams to be focused through the rib cage and skull -- will be described during Acoustics '17 Boston. (2017-06-26)

Hearing hybrid and electric vehicles while quieting noise pollution
Low-emission vehicles are considered too quiet for hearing-impaired pedestrians, so the European Union is mandating that they be equipped with acoustic vehicle alerting systems. With these alert systems would come a marked increase in the amount of noise on the roads across Europe. During the 174th ASA Meeting, Dec. 4-8, 2017, in New Orleans, researchers will present their work assessing the effectiveness of acoustic vehicle alerting systems and their downsides. (2017-12-05)

Dialing up chemotherapy for pancreatic cancer with ultrasound
Researchers at Haukeland University Hospital in Bergen, Norway have combined a laboratory ultrasound technique called 'sonoporation' with the commercially-available chemotherapy compound Gemcitabine to increase the porosity of pancreatic cells with microbubbles and to help get the drug into cancer cells where it is needed. They report some initial results at this week's ASA's 171st meeting in Salt Lake City. (2016-05-25)

International engineering team develop self-powered mobile polymers
n international group involving Inha University, University of Pittsburgh and the Air Force Research Laboratory has built upon their previous research and identified new materials that directly convert ultraviolet light into motion without the need for electronics or other traditional methods. The research, 'Photomotility of Polymers,' was published (today) in the journal Nature Communications. (2016-11-10)

Is there a musical method for interpreting speech?
Vocoded speech, or distorted speech that imitates voice transduction by a cochlear implant, is used throughout acoustic and auditory research to explore speech comprehension under various conditions. Researchers evaluated whether musicians had an advantage in understanding and reciting degraded speech as compared to nonmusicians, and they will present their work on the effect of musical experience on the ability to understand vocoded speech at the 174th ASA Meeting, Dec. 4-8, 2017. (2017-12-07)

Earplugs unavoidable for musicians in the orchestra and at home
Many musicians suffer ear damage. Professional orchestras have therefore taken measures in recent years to reduce the sound levels. Studies now reveal that physical measures, like placing screens or creating more space, have little effect. This is due to one's own instrument contributing just as much to the sound level that reaches the ear as all the orchestra's instruments together. The only solution that really helps is earplugs, for professionals but also amateurs playing at home. (2017-11-22)

Asymmetric sound absorption lets in the light
Many asymmetric absorbers are currently based on a single-port system, where sound enters one side and is absorbed before a rigid wall. In this design, however, light and air are unable to pass through the system. But new research shows that asymmetric absorption can be realized within a straight transparent waveguide. The waveguide allows light transmission and air flow through the absorber, and is described this week in Applied Physics Letters. (2017-10-06)

Marine invertebrates have noisy human neighbors
Marine invertebrates are impacted by the rising levels of underwater noise produced by humans, but the production of underwater noise is not only difficult to control, but the direct effect on marine invertebrates can be challenging to observe or measure. Researchers will present results on the use of a standing wave tube to simulate and measure the effects of anthropogenic noise on marine invertebrates at the 174th ASA Meeting, Dec. 4-8, 2017, in New Orleans. (2017-12-06)

Energy conversion: Optical 'overtones' for solar cells
NIM scientists from Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich have found a new effect regarding the optical excitation of charge carriers in a solar semiconductor. It could facilitate the utilization of infrared light, which is normally lost in solar devices. (2018-04-19)

Controlling ultrasound with 3-D printed devices
Researchers have 3-D printed a new kind of device that can harness high-pressure ultrasound to move, manipulate, or destroy tiny objects like particles, drops or biological tissue at scales comparable with cells. By providing unprecedented control of photoacoustic waves, such a device can be helpful for performing precise surgery, analyzing the properties of materials, and for scientific research in the lab. They discuss their work in this week's Applied Physics Letters. (2016-10-25)

Researchers find the brain processes sight and sound in same manner
Georgetown neuroscientists have found that the human brain learns to make sense of auditory and visual stimuli in the same two-step process. (2018-04-18)

A New Metasurface Model Shows Potential to Control Acoustic Wave Reflection
Typically, when a soundwave strikes a surface, it reflects back at the same fundamental frequency with a different amplitude. A new model, reported in the Journal of Applied Physics, shows that when a sound wave hits a nonlinear elastic metasurface, the incident fundamental frequency does not bounce back. Instead, the metasurface converts that energy into the wave's second harmonic resonance. Developing this metasurface could help architects reduce noise from performance halls to cityscapes. (2018-04-03)

From the mouths of babes: Infants really enjoy hearing from their peers
Sorry, new parents -- even though your infants appreciate your coos, they prefer to hear sounds from their peers -- other babies. Even at the pre-babbling stage, infants recognize vowel-like sounds, but they tend to dwell on these sounds when from the mouths of babes. At the 175th ASA Meeting, researchers will present from a new line of research focusing on one aspect of infant speech development: how babies perceive speech with infant vocal properties. (2018-05-09)

Exploring gender perception via speech
Snap judgments of speakers' femininity or masculinity are based on acoustic information from the speakers' voices, but some vocal qualities deemed 'feminine' can overlap with acoustic cues for 'clear speech,' which is a set of changes speakers make when they suspect their listener is having difficulty hearing. This overlap inspired researchers to explore gender perception via speech -- largely to determine whether adopting clear speech could help transgender people who would like to sound more feminine. (2016-05-25)

Synchronizing cochlear signals stimulates brain to 'hear' in stereo
Using both ears to hear increases speech recognition and improves sound localization. Ruth Litovsky, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, wants to bring this advantage to people who use cochlear implants. During the 175th ASA Meeting, Litovsky will present data showing a new technique that synchronizes the cochlear signals that stimulate the brain in a way that is similar to people who can hear normally. (2018-05-08)

Alarming amounts of noise demand ways to silence noisy hospital environments
Spending a night in the hospital is not only stressful, but also loud. The constant beeps, whirrs and alarms ascend to a cacophony that produces anything but a relaxing, restful environment. Researchers will summarize the limited number of studies available on hospital noise and discuss the different approaches health care facilities are taking to bring restful repose to patients across the country during the 174th ASA Meeting, Dec. 4-8, 2017, in New Orleans, La. (2017-12-06)

What causes the sound of a dripping tap -- and how do you stop it?
Scientists have solved the riddle behind one of the most recognisable, and annoying, household sounds: the dripping tap. And crucially, they have also identified a simple solution to stop it, which most of us already have in our kitchens. (2018-06-22)

What gave early New Orleans jazz clarinets their unique sound?
The hauntingly beautiful 'wailing' sounds of early New Orleans jazz clarinets, often featured in brass bands or jazz funerals, are one of the most distinctive instrument styles in American music. The unique sound begs the question: what's behind incredible their range of sound and tonal variety? During the 174th ASA Meeting, Dec. 4-8, 2017, Michael G. White will deliver a special presentation about the distinguishing characteristics of the clarinet in early New Orleans jazz. (2017-12-06)

Chimpanzees start using a new tool-use gesture during an alpha male take over
Similar to humans, non-human primates combine gestures, facial expressions, and vocalizations in various ways to communicate effectively. Researchers of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology investigated one such signal, the 'leaf clip' gesture, which re-emerged in a wild chimpanzee group during an alpha takeover. Importantly, the gesture was produced only by adult male chimpanzees, immediately preceded their pant hoot vocalizations and was associated with acoustic changes in those calls. (2018-06-28)

Ultrasonic attack is unlikely, but incidental exposure presents plenty of problems
New technologies for mobile devices may use ultrasonic sound waves, and these devices have varying effects on different subsets of the population. Regulation of these technologies is in many ways 'the wild west,' according to Timothy Leighton, who wrote a guide for moving forward in today's new world of ultrasonic exposure. He will describe his work uncovering the strange history and uncertain future of the use of ultrasonic sound waves during the 175th ASA Meeting. (2018-05-09)

Chinese researchers achieve 3D underwater acoustic carpet cloak first with 'Black Panther'-like features
A research team led by professor YANG Jun from the Institute of Acoustics (IOA) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences designed and fabricated a 3D underwater acoustic carpet cloak (UACC) using transformation acoustics. (2018-06-04)

Microwaved exploding eggs make for an unusual acoustic experiment
If you have looked closely at a microwave's warnings or have experienced an accidental explosion, you know that certain foods pose a risk due to an increase in their internal pressure, and potatoes and hard-boiled eggs are among the most common culprits. Researchers from Charles M. Salter Associates will present their research on the sound pressures generated by exploding eggs at the 174th ASA Meeting, Dec. 4-8, 2017, in New Orleans, Louisiana. (2017-12-06)

Orcasound: A citizen science tool for whale research
Computer algorithms are playing a growing role in analyzing hydrophone audio data when monitoring marine life, but human listeners can complement and enhance these algorithms. A project known as Orcasound has produced a web application that will enable citizen scientists to listen to livestreaming audio from hydrophones near the San Juan Islands. Researchers will describe the new web app and the value of citizen science at the Acoustical Society of America's 176th Meeting, Nov. 5-9. (2018-11-06)

Study shows whales dine with their own kind
Researchers from MIT, Northeastern University, the Institute of Marine Research in Norway, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, have found that as multiple species of whales feast on herring, they tend to stick with their own kind, establishing species-specific feeding centers along the 150-mile length of Georges Bank. (2016-03-02)

How do babies laugh? Like chimps!
Few things can delight an adult more easily than the uninhibited, effervescent laughter of a baby. Yet baby laughter, a new study shows, differs from adult laughter in a key way: Babies laugh as they both exhale and inhale, in a manner that is remarkably similar to nonhuman primates. The research will be described by Disa Sauter during a talk at the Acoustical Society of America's 176th Meeting, Nov. 5-9. (2018-11-07)

A beautiful wing design solution inspired by owl feathers
Lehigh University researchers have formulated a mathematical solution that could help minimize noise, maximize aerodynamics in design of porous airfoils (2-D wings) to improve wind turbines and air vehicles. The work has been described in a paper to be published in Proceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences called (2017-09-26)

Guiding sound waves through a maze
Researchers at TU Wien are developing methods for manipulating waves in a targeted manner, so that they can move forward with almost no restriction. This method has now been implemented in an experiment. Using precisely controlled loudspeakers, it has been possible to send a sound wave through a tube containing various obstacles. Technologies like this could enable light waves to be manipulated and objects to be made invisible. (2018-07-03)

Cloaking devices -- it's not just 'star trek' anymore
Scientists are now working to take cloaking devices from the dramatic realm of science fiction and make them real. Amanda D. Hanford, at Pennsylvania State University, is taking the introductory steps to make acoustic ground cloaks. These materials redirect approaching waves around an object without scattering the wave energy, concealing the object from the sound waves. During the 175th ASA Meeting, Hanford will describe the physics behind an underwater acoustic shield designed in her lab. (2018-05-10)

For adults, the terrible twos are a confusing earful
Here's another reason you might be exhausted after that preschool birthday party: Your brain had to work to figure out who actually asked for more ice cream. 'What we found with two-and-a-half-year-olds is that it's amazingly hard for adults to identify who's talking,' said Angela Cooper, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Toronto. Cooper's co-authored research will be presented at the Acoustical Society of America's 176th Meeting, Nov. 5-9. (2018-11-06)

Rooftop wiretap aims to learn what crows gossip about at dusk
An interdisciplinary team is using a covert sound-based approach, worthy of an avian CSI, to study the link between crows' calls and their behavior. (2017-12-05)

Are drones disturbing marine mammals?
Marine researchers have made sure that their research drones aren't disturbing their research subjects, shows a report in Frontiers in Marine Science. And they're hoping that others will follow their example to help protect wildlife in the future. (2017-02-13)

Want to listen better? Lend a right ear
Listening requires sensitive hearing and the ability to process information into cohesive meaning. Add everyday background noise and constant interruptions, and the ability to comprehend what is heard becomes that much more difficult. Audiology researchers at Auburn University have found that in such demanding environments, both children and adults depend more on their right ear for processing and retaining what they hear. They will present their work at the 174th ASA Meeting, Dec. 4-8. (2017-12-06)

New tech improves ability to reflect sound back to its source
Researchers have developed a device that reflects sound in the direction it came from, rather than deflecting it at an angle. The 'retroreflector' can reflect sound across an operating range of 70 degrees in either direction -- more than doubling the effective range of previous technologies. (2018-06-26)

How Nigerian music can help you choose a ripe watermelon
The quickest way to decide if a watermelon is ripe or not is by tapping on it. And if you're having trouble detecting the subtleties of the sound, listen to some Nigerian traditional music to get your ears attuned. Nigerian researcher Stephen Onwubiko has found a link between the sounds of drumming in traditional Nigerian music and the sound of fingers drumming on watermelons in the markets. (2019-05-14)

Submarine volcanoes add to ocean soundscape
Most volcanoes erupt beneath the ocean, but scientists know little about them compared to what they know about volcanoes that eject their lava on dry land. Gabrielle Tepp of the USGS thinks that with improved monitoring, we can learn more about submarine eruptions, which alter the ocean soundscape. During the 174th ASA meeting, Dec. 4-8, 2017, Tepp will discuss the challenges and benefits of remote monitoring and what it can teach about submarine volcanoes. (2017-12-04)

Criteria for the reduction of environmental impact applied in the Roman Theatre of Itálica
The authors of the study have developed tools that link Life-Cycle Analysis (LCA) and Building Information Modeling (BIM) software so that environmental-impact reduction criteria can be integrated into projects from the moment of their first design. (2019-03-11)

3-D printed active metamaterials for sound and vibration control
Researchers have been pushing the capabilities of materials by carefully designing precise structures that exhibit abnormal properties that can control acoustic or optical waves. However, these metamaterials are constructed in fixed geometries, meaning their unique abilities are always fixed. Now, new 3-D printed metamaterial developed by a team led by University of Southern California researchers can be remotely switched between active control and passive states. (2018-04-11)

What a handsome schnoz!
Researchers find evidence supporting both male-male competition and female choice as factors in the evolution of the enlarged male nose in proboscis monkeys. (2018-02-21)

Decoding tornadoes' infrasound waves
Tornado-producing storms can emit infrasound more than an hour before tornadogenesis, which inspired a group of researchers to develop a long-range, passive way of listening in on storms. During the 175th ASA Meeting, Brian Elbing will present his group's work collecting infrasound measurements from tornadoes to decode information contained in waves about the formation processes and life cycle before potentially devastating storms hit. (2018-05-08)

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