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Lesson: Sound Wave Reflections

In this activity, students determine the path traveled by sound waves as they reflect from room surfaces and the time it takes to travel each path. Assuming the role of acoustic engineers, students gain an overview of sound mechanics that involves rate calculations, working with number systems, and a bit of geometry.

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Feature: Sonic Boom

The dance between technology and music has long been a close one. Now, the tempo of that tango is picking up speed. Breakthroughs in engineering and electronics are radically altering how music today is played, recorded, distributed and listened to. Want a surefire way of becoming a big noise in the music biz? Earn an engineering degree.

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Feature: Breaking the Sound Barrier

At Drexel University, Assistant Prof. Youngmoo Kim and his students think up ways to put the power of a music arranger into the hands of unskilled and untutored listeners. Literally into their hands: Soon, if Kim’s research pans out, an iPhone could be all a listener needs to imprint downloaded music with his or her own taste and style, adjusting tempo, pitch, and mood.

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Feature: Acoustics – Infinite Improvisation

GuitarTop instrumentalists often own a collection of guitars, in part because no two sound exactly alike. As the grain of every piece of wood is unique, so, too, are the acoustics of each instrument. Now, Massachusetts Institute of Technology master’s student Amit Zoran has created the Chameleon Guitar. Its wooden midsection — the soundboard — is removable, so that soundboards made from different woods or materials can be inserted.

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