A group of researchers from the Southern Polytechnic State University (SPSU) in Marietta, Georgia, and the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) in Atlanta, investigated vuvuzelas’ acoustics and their potential impacts on hearing and will present their findings at the Acoustical Society of America’s upcoming 162nd annual meeting in San Diego, Calif., Oct. 31-Nov. 4, 2011.
What the researchers found is that the sound levels from single horns ranged from 90 to 105 decibels at the players’ ears. They also discovered that the horns’ impact is greatest when blown simultaneously with many others, such as at the World Cup, where the levels within an audience may well approach 120 decibels.
“For perspective, 100 decibels is the level of noise you’d hear at a rock concert. An ambulance siren or pneumatic jack hammer produce about the same level of noise as the vuvuzelas in a stadium, 120 decibels, which is at the threshold of feeling and produces a tickling sensation in your ears,” explains Richard Ruhala, associate professor and program director of mechanical engineering at SPSU. “The threshold of pain is 140 decibels. Sustained exposure to 120 decibels is 1,000 times the acoustic energy that causes hearing loss (with long-term exposure). That’s why OSHA [Occupational Safety and Health Administration] requires people working near those noise levels to wear hearing protection.”
Ruhala worked with his wife Laura Ruhala, also a researcher at SPSU, and Kenneth Cunefare, a professor of acoustics at Georgia Tech, to record the sound levels produced by a number of vuvuzelas, including one that had been used at the 2010 World Cup.
“On the field of play, with just a few percent of a stadium’s audience blowing vuvuzelas, the predicted levels could exceed 90 decibels, which is a level that would interfere with communication between players and impair their ability to hear the calls of officials,” points out Cunefare. “At the end of the day, though, the use of these horns at sporting events is maybe as much a cultural and participation choice as anything else. Perhaps there’s a product marketing opportunity here: Hearing protectors for sale at sporting venues in each teams’ colors?”
The researchers are continuing their work, analyzing the precision sound power and directivity of measurements already obtained. They’re also zeroing in on creating more accurate sound models to evaluate the sound pressure levels vuvuzelas produce in a stadium, thanks to the aid of Tina Ortkiese, an acoustic engineer.
The paper 5aNSb1, “Vuvuzelas and their impact,” will be presented Friday morning, Nov. 4.USEFUL LINKS:
Charles E. Blue | Newswise Science News
Researchers develop new lens manufacturing technique
21.05.2019 | Washington State University
Planetologists explain how the formation of the moon brought water to Earth
21.05.2019 | Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster
Engineers at the University of Tokyo continually pioneer new ways to improve battery technology. Professor Atsuo Yamada and his team recently developed a...
With a quantum coprocessor in the cloud, physicists from Innsbruck, Austria, open the door to the simulation of previously unsolvable problems in chemistry, materials research or high-energy physics. The research groups led by Rainer Blatt and Peter Zoller report in the journal Nature how they simulated particle physics phenomena on 20 quantum bits and how the quantum simulator self-verified the result for the first time.
Many scientists are currently working on investigating how quantum advantage can be exploited on hardware already available today. Three years ago, physicists...
'Quantum technologies' utilise the unique phenomena of quantum superposition and entanglement to encode and process information, with potentially profound benefits to a wide range of information technologies from communications to sensing and computing.
However a major challenge in developing these technologies is that the quantum phenomena are very fragile, and only a handful of physical systems have been...
Working group led by physicist Professor Ulrich Nowak at the University of Konstanz, in collaboration with a team of physicists from Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, demonstrates how skyrmions can be used for the computer concepts of the future
When it comes to performing a calculation destined to arrive at an exact result, humans are hopelessly inferior to the computer. In other areas, humans are...
Scientists develop a molecular recording tool that enables in vivo lineage tracing of embryonic cells
The beginning of new life starts with a fascinating process: A single cell gives rise to progenitor cells that eventually differentiate into the three germ...
29.04.2019 | Event News
17.04.2019 | Event News
15.04.2019 | Event News
21.05.2019 | Materials Sciences
21.05.2019 | Materials Sciences
21.05.2019 | Life Sciences