SCIENCE IN THE NEWS DAILY
Superhuman Hearing Possible, Experiments Suggest
from National Geographic News
People may one day be able to hear what are now inaudible sounds, scientists say. New experiments suggest that just vibrating the ear bones could create shortcuts for sounds to enter the brain, thus boosting hearing.
Most people can hear sounds in the range of about 20 hertz (Hz) at the low end to about 20 kilohertz (kHz) at the high end.
Twenty kHz would sound like a very high-pitched mosquito buzz, and 20 Hz would be what you'd hear if "you were at an R&B concert and you just stood next to the bass," explained Michael Qin, a senior research scientist at the Naval Submarine Medical Research Laboratory in Connecticut. "It would be the thing that's moving your pants leg."
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Using the Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ATC), a 6.5-meter microwave collector in Chile, cosmologists are piecing together the early history of the known universe. In an exclusive American Scientist interview, Arthur Kosowsky—a member of the ATC team and a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Pittsburgh—discusses how he is using ATC to reach back in time billions of years to search for gravitational waves that could verify inflation and reveal unprecedented details about how the cosmos was born.
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