13th April 2011: Growing into sound by Charlie Mydlarz

Charlie Mydlarz

On Wednesday 13th April 2011 – 7.30pm at TV21, Charlie Mydlarz gave a talk on Growing into sound…

Name of speaker and subject:

Charlie Mydlarz – Acoustics and hearing

Title of talk:

Growing into sound

Bullet points of what you would like to cover:

  • How and why we hear
  • Growing up into sound
  • Hearing loss


Suggested you-tube links, websites and/or texts where further information may be found:

A few words about you and your passion:

I am an acoustic research scientist and self confessed nerd who likes looking at how sound affects people.

A few lines about the history of your subject:

In the 6th century BC, the Greek philosopher Pythagoras wanted to know why some intervals seemed more beautiful than others, and he found answers in terms of numerical ratios representing the harmonic overtone series on a string.
The eighteenth century saw major advances in acoustics as mathematicians applied the new techniques of calculus to elaborate theories of sound wave propagation. In the nineteenth century the major figures of mathematical acoustics were Helmholtz in Germany, who consolidated the field of physiological acoustics, and Lord Rayleigh in England, who combined the previous knowledge with his own copious contributions to the field in his monumental work “The Theory of Sound”. Also in the 19th century, Wheatstone, Ohm, and Henry developed the analogy between electricity and acoustics.
The twentieth century saw a burgeoning of technological applications of the large body of scientific knowledge that was by then in place. The first such application was Sabine’s groundbreaking work in architectural acoustics, and many others followed. Underwater acoustics was used for detecting submarines in the first World War. Sound recording and the telephone played important roles in a global transformation of society.
Sound measurement and analysis reached new levels of accuracy and sophistication through the use of electronics and computing. The ultrasonic frequency range enabled wholly new kinds of application in medicine and industry. New kinds of transducers (generators and receivers of acoustic energy) were invented and put to use.