Category Archives: Research

How does a single atom sound?


How does a single atom sound? We don’t know (yet), but Researchers at Columbia University and Sweden’s Chalmers University of Technology managed to capture a single phonon, the sound an atom makes when is excited.

Phonons might actually be interesting in the field of quantum computing, because they move much slower than photons and, therefore, are easier to manipulate.

In comparison to photons, phonons have several striking features. Their speed of propagation is around 10^5 times lower, and their wavelength at a given frequency correspondingly shorter,” the researchers wrote in Science. “The slow speed means that qubits can be tuned much faster [than photons] … this enables new dynamic schemes for trapping and processing quanta.

Read the full story here:


Ghosts or acoustics?

During Halloween in Indianapolis, the Acoustical Society of America held a special session titled “Acoustic Trick-or-Treat: Eerie Noises, Spooky Speech, and Creative Masking.” One of the talks in this session was by Miriam Kolar of Amherst College, and she talked about the special acoustics in a 3000-year-old ceremonial center, known as Chavín de Huántar, in the Peruvian Andes. The acoustic phenomena observed at the site might have been interpreted as an embodiment of the instruments played during ceromonies or an intervention by a higher power. Read the full article at Physics Today or visit the project’s website.

The World’s Longest Reverb

This is cool: Trevox Cox, professor of Acoustics Engineering at the University of Salford, has discovered the world’s longest natural reverb. It was found in an oild storage tank in Scotland. The reverberation tail has a length of 112 seconds in the 125 Hz band, which is quite impressive!

Research paper presented at ICA 2013

A research paper I co-authored was presented at the International Congress on Acoustics (ICA) 2013 in Montreal, Canada:

Stefan Klockgether, Jasper Van Dorp Schuitman, and Steven Van de Par (2013). “Perceptual limits for detecting interaural-cue manipulations measured in reverberant settings”, Proceedings of the International Congress on Acoustics (ICA 2013), Montreal, Canada

Click here for the full text