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Now Online: Lay-Language Summaries Of Research

May 11, 2012

The following are excerpts of selected lay-language papers. The entire collection can be found here: http://www.acoustics.org/press/163rd/lay_lang.html

Lay-language Paper Highlights:

1. Trapping Microorganisms Using Cylindrical Standing Waves and Its Application to Water Purification

2. Auditory Depth Control: Investigation Associated Physical Parameters that Make a 3-D Sound Image Project Out of Your TV

3. Speech Perception Development in Monolingual Infants and Bilingual Infants

4. Making Sense of Sound

5. Improving Orchestra Pits for the Benefit of Musicians

6. Seismic Wave Attenuator Made of Acoustic Metamaterials

7. Dynamics of the Himalayan Singing Bowl

8. Evaluation of Vibration Seat Rattle Noise Using Coherence Function Technique

9. Estimation of Speech Privacy Performance from Acoustic Parameters in Two Adjacent Rooms

10. Scoping the Treble Sounds in Singing and Speech: What Your Phone is Not Telling You

11. Ultrasonic Cleaning of Root Canals

12. Toward a High Power Non-contact Acoustic Source Using Time Reversal

13. A Circular Microphone Array Design Approach for Discrete Noise Suppression

14. Acoustic Cues Used by Blind Travelers

15. Gliders, Floats, and Robot Sailboats: Autonomous Platforms for Marine Mammal Research

16. For Low-frequency Underwater Sounds, a Mirror Becomes a Window

17. Does Exposure to Aircraft Noise at Primary School Influence Later Learning Outcomes? Findings from the UK RANCH Follow-up Study

18. Laser ‘Tractor Beam’ for Small Particles

1. Trapping of Microorganisms Using Cylindrical Standing Waves and Its Application to Water Purification

“In this study, the cylindrical standing waves by a cylindrical ultrasonic transducer, which is more convenient to apply to water purification, is employed to trap and aggregate microorganisms, such as green algae Chlorella.” Paper 1aPA6 by Hae-Rang Hwang et al. will be presented Monday morning, May 14.

http://www.acoustics.org/press/163rd/Hwang_1aPA6.html

2. Auditory Depth Control: Investigation Associated Physical Parameters that Make a 3-D Sound Image Project Out of Your TV

“Recent visual information technology has successfully leaped to the mass production of three-dimensional (3-D) visual images. While the technology has been around for a long time, the aesthetic accomplishment in the recent movie ‘AVATAR’ caught the public’s attention and accelerated the provision of 3-D hardware and software to consumers. The resulting image allows humans to perceive the relative and absolute depths of visual objects. For auditory objects, however, it has been difficult to create a convincing control of perceived depth, in particular between a screen (front speaker) and a listening position.” Paper 1aHT5 by Sungyoung Kim et al. will be presented Monday morning, May 14.

http://www.acoustics.org/press/163rd/SYKim_1aHT5.html

3. Speech Perception Development in Monolingual Infants and Bilingual Infants

“Previous research has shown that exposure to a language influences the way monolingual infants perceive speech sounds. By one year of age infants neurally commit to the speech sounds that are native to their language and they decline in their ability to discriminate sounds that are not native to their language (Best & McRoberts, 2003; Kuhl et al., 2006; Werker & Tees, 1984). This pattern of perceptual change leads to the question: how do infants who are exposed to two languages perceive speech sounds that are native to their languages?” Paper 1aSCa6 by Adrian Garcia-Sierra et al. will be presented Monday morning, May 14.

http://www.acoustics.org/press/163rd/Garcia-Sierra_1aSCa6.html

4. Making Sense of Sounds

“Tiny vibrations of the air molecules around us convey information about remote objects and their behavior. To decode this useful information we have evolved specialized sensors and processes: the ears and the auditory system. However, what our ears receive is actually a mixture of the signals generated by whatever sound emitting sources happen to be present, which can of course change from one moment to the next. So, how do we make sense of the mixture and form mental images of the sound sources around us?” Paper 1pPP1 by Susan L. Denham et al. will be presented Monday afternoon, May 14.

http://www.acoustics.org/press/163rd/Denham_1pPP1.html

5. Improving Orchestra Pits for the Benefit of Musicians

“Increased publicity regarding hearing loss in those working in the music and entertainment sectors has heightened the need to reduce noise exposure. This is particularly important for classical musicians who are constantly practicing, rehearsing and performing to refine their skills. Musicians tend to have a negative reaction toward earplugs, hence the need to find alternative noise mitigation solutions. With the full co-operation of the Royal Academy of Music, the noise exposure of musicians has been investigated to establish their typical noise dose. It was found that the musicians had the highest noise dose when performing in the orchestra pit.” Paper 1pAA5 by Stephen Dance et al. will be presented on Monday afternoon, May 14.

http://www.acoustics.org/press/163rd/Dances_1pAA5.html

6. Seismic Wave Attenuator Made of Acoustic Metamaterials

“We introduce a method to control seismic waves by using a new class of materials called metamaterials. Metamaterials are artificially engineered materials that have a special property such as negative refractive index. We present a solution that a metamaterial acts as an attenuator by converting the destructive seismic wave into an attenuated wave.” Paper 2aEA8 by Sang-Hoon Kim will be presented on Tuesday morning, May 15.

http://www.acoustics.org/press/163rd/Kim_2aEA8.html

7. Dynamics of a Himalayan Singing Bowl

“The goal of the work reported here was to understand why the bowl sounds as it does. That is, why is there only one frequency of vibration and why is it modulated as the puja moves around the bowl? The answer to both of these questions can be found if one understands the motion of the puja during play. ” Paper 2pMU4 by Brandon August et al. will be presented on Tuesday afternoon, May 15.

http://www.acoustics.org/press/163rd/August_2pMU4.html

8. Evaluation of Vibration Seat Rattle Noise Using Coherence Function Technique

“Vehicle noise (NVH) is becoming the most important factor to customers. Especially the seat, which is the final stage of vibration transfer path to passengers from all sources of vibration like the engine, transmission, suspension, etc.” Paper 2pSA8 by Jin-Su Park et al. will be presented on Tuesday afternoon, May 15.

http://www.acoustics.org/press/163rd/Park_2pSA8.html

9. Estimation of Speech Privacy Performance from Acoustic Parameters in Two Adjacent Rooms

“To evaluate the degree of information leakages by conversation, speech intelligibility scores have been used in studies about speech privacy. Speech intelligibility scores are the percentages of test speech signals correctly dictated by listeners. From the viewpoint of evaluation of speech privacy performance, the higher speech intelligibility scores the lower speech privacy performance. Because speech intelligibility scores are strongly affected by speech-to-noise ratio, that is, the difference between sound pressure level of speech and that of background noise, background noise level and sound insulation performance are important variables in speech privacy design of rooms.” Paper 2pAAa1 by Hayato Sato et al. will be presented Tuesday afternoon, Nov. 15.

http://www.acoustics.org/press/163rd/Sato_2pAAa1.html

10. Scoping the Treble Sounds in Singing and Speech: What your Phone is Not Telling You

“What are you missing out on when you talk on your phone? Until recently, treble frequencies were only thought to affect some aspect of voice quality. We now know that it’s more than just quality. In fact, these high frequencies carry a surprising amount of information about a speech sound. Treble frequencies are sufficient for a listener to determine the gender of a talker and at least some of the linguistic message of a phrase. This is likely because of treble differences between different speech sounds. We decided to examine whether treble differences might be able to distinguish different vocal sounds, allowing listeners to extract information from what they hear in the treble.” Paper 3aMU12 by Brian Monson et al. will be presented Wednesday morning, May 16.

http://www.acoustics.org/press/163rd/Monson_2aMU12.html

11. Ultrasonic Cleaning of Root Canals

“A trip to the dentist should be pleasant, but root canal treatments may occasionally leave some pain after the treatment. This is a result of an inflammation in or around the tooth, caused by infection, which are bacteria hiding inside the tooth away from the body’s defenses. Also, the bacteria hide themselves in a self-produced slime layer called the biofilm. Removal of the biofilm requires an invasive treatment by a dentist, who attempts to kill and flush out the bacteria.” Paper 4aPA8 by Bram Verhaagen et al. will be presented Thursday morning, May 17.

http://www.acoustics.org/press/163rd/Verhaagen_4aPA8.html

12. Toward a High Power Non-contact Acoustic Source Using Time Reversal

“Non-linear acoustic methods are some of the most sensitive methods for evaluation of the integrity of solid samples. These methods were developed over the last ten years at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) and with other institutes worldwide. In short, those methods rely on the distortion of a sound wave in the presence of damage (cracks or other defects). Intact materials do not distort the wave. It is the characterization of the wave shape changes that is the heart of non-linear methods.” Paper 4pEAa3 by Pierre-Yves Le Bas et al. will be presented Thursday afternoon, May 17.

http://www.acoustics.org/press/163rd/LeBas_4pEAa3.html

13. A Circular Microphone Array Design Approach for Discrete Noise Suppression

“In this paper, an optimum design approach is presented to optimize passive broadband detection performance for discrete noise suppression, with the example of a circular microphone array optimized through the adjustment of array weighting coefficients.” Paper 4pHT1 by Bo Yang et al will be presented Thursday afternoon, May 17.

http://www.acoustics.org/press/163rd/Yang_4pHT1.html

14. Acoustic Cues Used by Blind Travelers

“Blind pedestrians use their hearing to travel safely, independently and efficiently (a skill known as ‘orientation and mobility’ [O&M] or ‘wayfinding’). Some of the auditory cues they use are clear and obvious, but others are subtle environmental sound cues.” Paper 5aPP18 by Helen J. Simon et al. will be presented Friday morning, May 18.

http://www.acoustics.org/press/163rd/Simon_5aPP18.html

15. Gliders, Floats, and Robot Sailboats: Autonomous Platforms for Marine Mammal Research

“Researchers use sound to locate and track marine mammals. Often this has been done from hydrophones — underwater microphones — towed behind ships, which cover a large area but, because of expense, can only stay out for weeks to months at a time. Another method that has grown in popularity in the last two decades is autonomous monitoring, in which a hydrophone recorder is placed on the sea floor. For up to two years, it listens to ambient acoustic time, after which it is recovered. Autonomous recorders last a long time but survey from only a single point in the ocean. In both cases, software for automatically detecting whale and dolphin calls is crucial for handling the large quantity of data received.” Paper 5aAB1 by David Mellinger will be presented Friday morning, May 18.

http://www.acoustics.org/press/163rd/Mellinger_5aAB1.html

16. For Low-frequency Underwater Sounds, a Mirror Becomes a Window

“Recently we have discovered that, instead of being an almost perfect mirror, as previously believed, the water-air interface can be a good conduit of low-frequency underwater sound into the atmosphere. The interface turns out to be anomalously transparent for acoustic waves produced by compact, shallow sources in the sense that, first, acoustic energy radiated into air is much greater than energy radiated by deep sources and, second, almost all of the energy emitted under water can be radiated into the air.” Paper 5aPa4 by Oleg Godin and Iosif M. Fuks will be presented Friday morning, May 18.

http://www.acoustics.org/press/163rd/Godin_5aPa4.html

17. Does Exposure to Aircraft Noise at Primary School Influence Later Learning Outcomes? Findings from the UK RANCH follow-up study

“Recent years have seen increasing evidence that exposure to aircraft noise at school results in poorer learning outcomes for children, such as poorer reading ability and memory skills. However, this evidence comes mainly from studies that have examined noise exposure and learning outcomes at only one time point in the child’s education. However, many children will remain exposed to environmental noise throughout their childhood and little is known about the long-term consequences of environmental noise exposure, which could persist throughout childhood, for later learning outcomes. This paper reports on a study conducted over a 6 year period, which examined whether aircraft noise exposure in primary school, at 9-10 years of age, was associated with poorer reading ability in secondary school, at 15-16 years of age. The paper also reports on the relationship between aircraft noise exposure in secondary school and reading ability in secondary school.” Paper 5aNSc1 by Charlotte Clark et al. will be presented Friday morning, May 18.

http://www.acoustics.org/press/163rd/Clark_5aNSc1.html

18. Laser ‘Tractor Beam’ for Small Particles

“Some laser beams can serve as a ‘tractor beam’ pulling small particles backward against the laser’s propagating direction. Photons are particles. Just like other particles, photons have momentum. As a consequence, photons can exert a force on material object by transferring momentum to it. In a manner similar to propelling a boat by wind, by streaming photons to hit a particle will in general push the particle to move forward. However, a ‘tractor beam’ pulling particles backward is indeed counter intuitive and is unexpected even for many scientists.” Paper 5pPA2 by Jack Ng et al. will be presented Friday afternoon, May 18.

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