Background Information

Index

 Lab Report

 Method and Materials

 Hypothesis

 Results

 Analytic Essay

 Photos

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 Animations

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The Acoustic Ability of the Ear:
Hearing is a joint effort by the ear and brain to collect information through analyzing the waveforms the ear collects. The ear converts sound energy to mechanical energy to a nerve impulse that is transmitted to the brain. This acoustic ability allows us to detect the pitch, loudness, and tone of a sound. This complex organ has three basic parts, the outer, middle, and inner ear. The outer ear gathers the sound and sends it to the middle ear where it is turned into internal vibrations of the anvil, stirrup, and eardrum. These vibrations are transformed to a compressional wave in the inner ear. The inner ear fluid absorbs the energy of this compressional wave and changes it into nerve impulses that are sent to the brain.

Changes in pressure associated with sound are picked up by the structures in our ears. Man-made sound receptors, or microphones, work the same way. Changes in pressure going underwater can affect the health of our Eustachian tubes, which connect the middle ear to the outside. It is important to properly equalize, or clear, your ears when descending or ascending in water. The effects of Boyle's Law on the ear make it important to properly clear the Eustachian tubes. With failure to match the pressure in the middle ear to the outer ear through equalizing, the result is barotrauma, the most common pressure related ear injury. This is especially important in scuba diving when the ear is subjected to much faster pressure changes.

Sound Waves:

A sound wave is a transmission of sound through a medium. The medium in our experiment was the air (for our control) and the water.The sound transmits in a wave pattern which is why it is called a sound wave. The height of the wave is the amplitude and amplitude determines the volume. The distance that the waves are apart is the frequency and frequency determines the pitch. So the higher the volume of the sound is, the higher the wave will be. For frequency, the lower the frequency the longer the waves are apart and the higher the frequency the closer the waves are.

(note: also seen on  Diagram page)

Sound is the vibration of particles in the medium. The particles (such as water or air) vibrate in the same direction that the sound is transmitted. The sound waves put pressure on the particles of the medium causing them to move. When several of the particles move they compress and in human bodies. The eardrum moves out and in according to compression of the particles in the medium.

Index

 Lab Report

 Method and Materials

 Hypothesis

 Results

 Analytic Essay

 Photos

 Diagram

 Animations

 Bibiliography

Enhancement

 DEEP Homepage