Melville, New York, May 23, 2001
Researchers will present some of the newest and most interesting findings in the science of sound at a press luncheon to occur at the Acoustical Society of America (ASA) meeting which takes place from June 4-8 in Chicago, IL.
The luncheon will happen on Tuesday, June 5 at 11:30 AM at the Cresthill Room of the Palmer House Hilton Hotel, 17 East Monroe Street, Chicago, Illinois (312-726-7500). The list of speakers and their topics can be found below. Reporters wishing to attend should fill out the reply form at the end of this release or contact Ben Stein (301-209-3091, firstname.lastname@example.org).
In addition, the ASA Press Room contains several lay language papers with detailed information on numerous meeting results. Now located at a new URL (http://www.acoustics.org/press, but also reachable from http://www.acoustics.org), the web pressroom also includes the general press release for the meeting, and a searchable database of all meeting abstracts.
The following text describes the press luncheon topics, and some examples of lay language papers which are already available online.
Northern Illinois University
(815- 753-6493, email@example.com) Many new and unusual percussion instruments made of wood, metal, glass, stone, and plastic have been developed in recent years. What is often termed "contemporary sound" makes extensive use of percussion instruments. Understanding the sounds of percussion instruments depends on determining specific vibrational patterns of these instruments, and this can be done with great accuracy by a laser-based method called holographic interferometry. Tom Rossing of Northern Illinois University will describe these studies, and percussionist Barry Larkin (Iowa State University) will be on hand to demonstrate a couple of the instruments. Novel forms of percussion are just a few of the subjects addressed in a Tuesday afternoon meeting session (2pMU) dedicated to experimental musical instruments. Lay-language papers on experimental percussion are at http://www.acoustics.org/pressroom/httpdocs/141st/rossing1.html and http://www.acoustics.org/pressroom/httpdocs/141st/rossing2.html.
Nicholas Makris and colleagues
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
(617-258-6104, makris@MIT.EDU) One of the most exciting scientific questions in the early 21st century is whether Jupiter's moon Europa has conditions favorable for life. Spacecraft observations and other studies suggest the strong possibility of a liquid ocean under its surface of water ice. Inspired by evidence for regularly occurring ice fractures that generate significant amounts of sound, a research team at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology will describe an exploratory study looking at the possibility of probing Europa's interior, such as its ice thickness, by deploying an array of surface microphones that listen to naturally occurring sound (Meeting Paper 2pPAa6).
Audio Systems Group, Inc, Chicago, IL
(773-728-0565, firstname.lastname@example.org) Baseball has arguably the most pleasing sounds of any sport, with the crack of the bat, the cry of the umpire, and the sonorous intonations of the PA announcer. Yet achieving good stadium acoustics is a richly complex process: sound must travel loud and clear to thousands of fans in every part of the stadium while not leaking out to surrounding neighborhoods. What's more, wind and temperature variations within the stadium can dramatically change the acoustics of the ballpark from moment to moment. Jim Brown and his Chicago-based firm, Audio Systems Group, Inc. (www.audiosystemsgroup.com), were involved in designing all of Wrigley Field's sound systems and press facilities through three renovations of the ballpark. Brown will discuss state-of-the-art solutions that have been employed in modern stadium acoustics. This includes distributed loudspeaker systems, consisting of an array of loudspeakers all around the stadium rather than a single central system of loudspeakers. Brown will also discuss the nuances of delivering the right mix of crowd noise and ballfield sound to closed private boxes and broadcast audiences. (Talk 5pAA4 at meeting.)
(650-723-4949, email@example.com) Researchers have just created useful jewelry for hearing-impaired persons. Bernard Widrow of Stanford has designed a necklace of microphones that is supported on the user's chest by a conducting loop that encircles the user's neck. Electronic components on the necklace receive and combine the microphone signals so as to provide an amplified signal emphasizing sounds of interest originating in front of the user. A small coil in the ear picks up the signal. Widrow says this system is "comfortable, inconspicuous, and convenient to use" and it provides a significant improvement in speech perception over existing hearing aids, especially in the presence of echoes and background noise. Widrow will bring a prototype microphone necklace to the luncheon. (3pSP1)
Please return the REPLY FORM if you are interested in attending the meeting or receiving additional information.
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