Sounds just fine
April 10, 2006 5:18 AM Subscribe
If sound were to travel closer to, say, the speed of light than the speed of sound, would we still be able to determine its horizontal direction?
posted by disillusioned to science & nature (18 answers total)
My understanding is that we determine where sound is coming from along the x-axis based on the difference in time between the sound hitting our two ears. The space between our ears is enough for our brain to differentiate and make a determination about location.
If higher-pitched sounds were to travel fast enough, I imagine we'd lose that ability. (1)True? (2)Is it possible to augment the speed of sound (atmospheric density is at least one part of this, yes?) to the point where we'd lose this ability?
(3)Why do lower frequency sounds like those generated by subwoofers and low bass notes already evade our ability to determine their direction? (4)And is there a term for this sort of sound?
(5)Will losing hearing completely in one ear render, as I suspect, you entire ability to locate sound useless? And finally, (6)do our brains need to recalibrate as the distance shifts in our earliest ears? Or does our locational hearing just suck for awhile until we get to a certain head size?
Help me wrap my head around this!