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Mastering Physics: Threshold of Human Hearing Conceptual Question - Although 0 \rm{dB} is often...

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Introduction: Mastering Physics Threshold of Human Hearing Conceptual Question
                        
More Details: Mastering Physics: Threshold of Human Hearing Conceptual Question - Although 0 \rm{dB} is often referred to as the lower threshold of human hearing, it is
                important to realize that the human ear is not equally sensitive to all frequencies of sound. In other words, a particular noise may sound louder or softer
                depending on the frequency of the sound wave being transmitted. Because of this variation, scientists have defined a unit of loudness, called a phon, to represent
                the intensity of sound waves with a frequency of 1000 {\rm Hz}: A 60-{\rm phon} sound is one that is perceived by the human ear to have the same loudness as a
                sound wave with an intensity of 60 {\rm dB} and a frequency of 1000 {\rm Hz} . There is no simple mathematical formula for converting phons into decibels. The
                relationship between these two measures of intensity has been determined by experiment. The graph (Figure 1) displays the perceived loudness of sound waves of
                different intensities (vertical axis) and frequencies (horizontal axis). Each individual curve represents a sound that is perceived by the human ear to be
                equivalent to a specific phon level. To practice reading this graph, note that a sound wave of intensity 70 {\rm dB} that vibrates with a frequency of 50 {\rm Hz}
                is perceived by the human ear as a 40-{\rm phon} sound. The lowest curve, labeled 0 {\rm phons}, forms the true lower limit to human sound perception. (Actually,
                even this statement is not completely true owing to variations in sound perception in the general population.) Part A At approximately what frequency do most
                people perceive the least intense sounds? Enter your answer numerically in hertz to two significant figures. Part B For a sound at 100 \rm{Hz}, what is the decibel
                level necessary for human perception? Enter your answer numerically in decibels to two significant figures. Part C How many times more intense is the least intense
                perceptible sound at 100 \rm{Hz} compared to the least intense perceptible sound at 1000 \rm{Hz}? Specifically, you are looking for the ratio I_{100 \;{\rm
                Hz}}/I_{1000\;{\rm Hz}}. How many times more intense is the least intense perceptible sound at 100 compared to the least intense perceptible sound at 1000 ?
                Specifically, you are looking for the ratio . 10^{35} times more intense 10^{3.5} (\!\approx\! 5000) times more intense 35 times more intense 3.5 times more
                intense equally intense
asked Aug 26, 2013 by anonymous

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