Stereo Sound

a blue, black and white cube structure that has vinyl blue and white information panels from top to bottom with spaces in between. There are also different sound exibits hanging from orange cord from the cube structure.

Humans interpret sounds in three dimensional space.

How it works

One person wears ear pieces connected by a tube, while a second person taps on the tube to test the first person's locating skills.

Things to try or ask around the exhibit

  • Why can you hear the tapping through the headphones?

Background

When your friend taps the tube, it causes the tube's structure and internal air to vibrate. As each successive vibration causes adjacent molecules to vibrate, the vibrating stimulus that you can hear as sound reaches your ears.

If the tapping is closer to your left ear, the vibrations reach your left ear about one thousandth of a second sooner than your right ear!

Finding the science in your world

Your brain can detect this tiny difference and tells you which side the sound is coming from. The ability to determine the direction of a sound is important for animals locating food or avoiding danger.