Woodbury, New York, November 27, 1996 (UPDATED)
Sound is all around us: babies crying, sopranos singing, water waves crashing, jack hammers blasting on a sidewalk. The science of sound is called acoustics. Acoustical scientists get to explore interesting questions like: What do Alpine yodelers and Hawaiian folk singers have in common? How can scientists use sound waves to measure ocean temperature without disturbing marine mammals? How can Orthodox rabbis be clearly heard without using electrical amplification on the Sabbath?
These and other questions will be addressed at the upcoming joint meeting of the Acoustical Society of America (ASA) and the Acoustical Society of Japan (ASJ), to take place December 2-6 1996 at the Sheraton Waikiki Hotel in Honolulu, Hawaii. More than 1340 papers are scheduled to be presented. With nearly 7000 members, the ASA is the largest scientific organization in the United States devoted to acoustics. The ASJ is Japan's largest acoustics organization, with 4500 members. This is the third joint meeting of the ASA and the ASJ.
Singing Styles in the Hawaiian Islands Update on the ATOC Experiment A Kosher Sound System Acoustic Diagnosis of Artificial Heart Valves Sonoluminescence Bubbles with Activity Differences in Stuttering Between English and Japanese Speakers Auralization Modern Mysteries of Lung Sounds Traditional Japanese Singing The Acoustics of Mosquito Wingbeats Environmentally Friendly De-Inking Technique Dolphin Echolocation A Computerized Talking Head
What do Hawaiian folk singers and Alpine yodelers have in common? Singers of both styles alternate high-pitched falsetto sounds with lower-pitched notes produced from the chest. Ingo Titze of the University of Iowa and the National Center for Voice and Speech will describe how the vocal cords change their shape and tension, and how the larynx changes its air-flow properties, as a singer switches between falsetto and chest singing. (4aMUa1) C. Kati Szego of Memorial University in St. John's, Canada will analyze how the unique features of the Hawaiian language may contribute to the dark and sensual sounds of Hawaiian choral singing. (4aMUa2) A lecture-demonstration of native Hawaiian music will be presented by Randie K. Fong of the Kamehameha Schools, a group of Honolulu private schools that educates its students in native Hawaiian language and culture. (4aMUa3)
Since the ocean covers two-thirds of the Earth's surface, monitoring its temperature is important for testing and verifying global warming models. One way of determining ocean temperature is to measure the speed of sound as it travels through the sea. The Acoustic Thermometry of Ocean Climate (ATOC) project is an ongoing 4-year study with two goals: to monitor the ocean temperature by using low-frequency sound waves, and to assess the effects (if any) of these sound waves on marine life. Speakers at session 1pAO1 will describe the latest results of numerous ongoing ATOC experiments.
Rabbis and cantors who lead Orthodox Jewish services would like their words and music to be clearly heard by all in attendance. However, Orthodox Jewish leaders cannot use electrical amplification, at least on the Sabbath. As a result, congregants at large synagogues can often have trouble hearing the services. Tadeusz Drzewiecki and Joseph Poindexter of Defense Research Technologies in Rockville, Maryland have developed an acousto-fluidic based system which augments sound without the use of electricity. The researchers report that their sound system can provide adequate sound coverage for worship spaces accommodating as many as 1600 persons. (2aAA8)
Heart valves are important structures that separate the chambers of the heart and prevent blood from flowing backwards. Faulty heart valves are increasingly being replaced by artificial heart valves. These artificial valves can provide acoustical clues to determine whether they have been installed without complications. Jun Hasewaga of Takushoku University in Tokyo and colleagues describe how the audible closing clicks of prosthetic valves can provide indications of sclerosis (hardening) and thrombosis (blood clots) around the area of the valve. (2aEA1)
One of the strangest unexplained mysteries in physics is sonoluminescence, in which the energy of sound waves is focused by more than a trillion times to produce pulses of light. In the sonoluminescence process, sound waves strike a liquid containing a tiny gas bubble, which then oscillates and emits short pulses of light. Very recently, Seth Putterman of UCLA and colleagues have shown that the light in sonoluminescence is not emitted uniformly in all directions, but instead creates a distinct pattern.(3pPA1) This suggests that successive light flashes might be correlated with one another, and that the collapse of the bubble may not be spherically symmetric. Putterman and colleagues have also shown that the wall of the SL bubble collapses four times faster than the speed of sound in gas. (3pPA4) In response to these and other recent experimental results, many of the world's top theorists in sonoluminescence will present their latest ideas on the sonoluminescence phenomenon. (Session 3aPA). Robert Apfel of Yale University, the co-chair of the theoretical session, has challenged each theorist to propose a set of experiments that would distinguish the researcher's theory from the others. These proposals will be distributed to all those attending the session.
Haruo Kubozono of Kobe University in Japan has discovered differences in stuttering patterns between English and Japanese speakers. For instance, Japanese speakers are most likely to stumble on the word "sentaa" by saying "se-se-se-sentaa," while English speakers tend to trip on the similar-sounding word "center" by saying "c-c-c-center." These differences may shed insights into theories of how syllables are formed in different languages. (5pSC6)
Auralization is an acoustic "visualization" process. By using computer modeling techniques, acousticians can generate a visual picture of a sound field in the same way architects and interior designers use computers to create a 3-D visual model of a room or building. Session 1pAA will feature auralizations of music rehearsal rooms and other spaces. Researchers are also hoping to employ auralization in virtual reality entertainment experiences. Tapio Takala of Helsinki University and his colleagues have developed an auralization of a concert performance in which the listener may move around the concert hall using a computer mouse. (2aAA4)
Over the last 20 years, researchers have learned a great deal about lung sounds. They have discovered how the lung produces many of its sounds, where many of them originate, and what they can tell doctors about pulmonary disorders. But several fundamental mysteries remain. Steve Kraman of the VA Medical Center in Lexington, KY will describe some of these mysteries, which include: the way in which a perfectly healthy lung produces its sounds, whose properties seem to be independent of the density of gas in the lungs; and the reason why lung sounds are faint or absent in people with emphysema. Before researchers can answer questions such as these, says Kraman, computer-aided lung sound analysis will not be able to fulfill its promise of providing more information about the lung than can already be obtained with a stethoscope. (2aEA4)
Traditional Japanese singing may sound creaky and strained to the unaccustomed listener. Some have raised concerns that this style might not be healthy for the vocal cords. Using video recordings of the vocal cords of a person singing a traditional Japanese song, Seiji Niimi of the University of Tokyo will show evidence that the vocal cord is rarely hyperextended or strained during Japanese singing. (4aMUa4
Male mosquitos locate appropriate mates by detecting species-specific wingbeat sounds radiated by female mosquitos in flight. In efforts to build better sound-based traps for disease-carrying mosquitos, Richard Campbell of Worcester Polytechnic Institute and colleagues have analyzed the wingbeat sounds of five mosquito species known to transmit infectious diseases. This work may also lead to electronic species detection devices for mosquitos. (3pAB10)
To recycle paper in an environmentally responsible fashion requires a clean de-inking technique. Sameer Madanshetty of Boston University will describe an "acoustic coaxing" process for removing ink from paper. In this process, paper is placed in a container of water, and sound waves are aimed at the container, generating microbubbles which remove the ink. In experimental demonstrations of this technique, Madanshetty reports that paper is thoroughly de-inked in the process while the paper fibers are undamaged. (2pPA7)
Dolphins can build up pictures of their environment by using echolocation, a kind of sonar in which the creatures broadcast high-frequency clicks into their surroundings and record the sounds bouncing from objects. Last year, Adam Pack and Louis Herman of the University of Hawaii showed that dolphins could recognize the shape of an object through one sense (either echolocation or vision) that it had earlier interrogated through the other sense. In paper 2aAB8, Pack and Herman report that the dolphins can recognize complex shapes across these two senses, supporting the idea that dolphin echolocation can build up vivid spatial representations of objects.
To understand speech, people do not only rely on sound alone--they study lip movement and other visual gestures from a speaker. Dominic Massaro of the University of California at Santa Cruz and his colleagues have created a computerized "talking head" to study which are the most important visual cues in accurately perceiving speech. Using their computer model, Massaro and his colleagues have recently found that humans are fairly good at speechreading even if they are not looking directly at the talker's lips. They have also found that accuracy is not dramatically reduced when the facial image is blurred (because of poor vision, for example), and when there is a large distance between talker and viewer. (1aSC5)
For more information during the meeting, contact Elaine Moran (firstname.lastname@example.org) at the ASA registration desk, 808-922-7708. For information before the meeting, contact Ben Stein at email@example.com or 301-209-3091.