9780199687794

Discord The Story of Noise

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780199687794

  • ISBN10:

    019968779X

  • Edition: Reprint
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2014-02-06
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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Supplemental Materials

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Summary

Noise is a widely recognized and ever-increasing problem--and a growing health concern--in the modern world. In Discord, Mike Goldsmith looks at the science and history of the long battle between people and noise--a battle that has changed our lives and molded our societies. He investigates how increasing noise levels relate to human progress, from the clatter of wheels on cobbles to the sound of heavy machinery; explains how our scientific understanding of sound and hearing has developed; and looks at noise in nature, including the remarkable ways in which some animals, such as shrimps, use noise as a weapon or to catch prey. Goldsmith also examines the importance of managing noise levels and developing suitable "soundscapes" in industry, schools, or public spaces. In addition, the book shows that noise, in the sense of dissonance, can also be used positively: composers have employed it from Baroque music to Rock feedback; medicine harnesses it to shatter kidney stones and treat cancer; and even the military uses it in (real and rumored) weapons. Goldsmith concludes by turning to the future, discussing ways in which new science and new ideas may change the way the world will sound.

Author Biography


Mike Goldsmith, Freelance science writer and Former Head of Acoustics, National Physical Laboratory

Mike Goldsmith has a PhD in astrophysics from Keele University, awarded for research into variable supergiant stars and cosmic dust formation. From 1987 until 2007 he worked in the Acoustics Group at the UK's National Physical Laboratory and was Head of the group for many years. His work there included research into automatic speech recognition, human speech patterns, environmental noise, and novel microphones. He continues to work with NPL on a freelance basis and has recently lead a three-year project to develop a new type of environmental noise mapping system. He has published over 40 scientific papers and technical reports, and since 1999, he has written over 30 science books for readers from babies to adults. Two of his books have been short-listed for the Aventis prize (now the Royal Society prize) for science books.

Table of Contents


Introduction
1. The Nature of Noise
2. A Silent Bang
3. Classical Noise
4. The End of Science
5. A New Science of Sound
6. Noise in the Eighteenth Century
7. Machineries of Noise
8. The First Champions of Silence
9. New Worlds
10. Noise in Wartime
11. A Time of Peace?
12. A Different Kind of War
13. A New Beginning?
14. The Power of Science
15. A New Pollution
16. Noise Now
17. A Quieter Tomorrow?

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