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Rough Science
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Explore the Challenges

The Challenge: Record a Sound or Voice



Armed with only the most basic of tools and materials is it possible to capture the sounds of the Rough Science island?

First of all, what is it we are trying to record?

Sound. When we speak, the vocal cords in our throats vibrate. This causes the air near to them to be momentarily compressed and expanded at the same rate. The rhythmic compressions of the air move out and away from the vocal cords, up through the throat and out through the mouth.

If we could see the compressed air it would look as if the sound was travelling outwards from the source, rather like ripples in a pond when a stone is thrown in. Sound waves travel quite fast but need a medium to do so. Each air molecule knocks against its neighbor and transfers sound energy along the line. The air molecules themselves might not go very far but the energy can go a long way.

Image of Sound Wave Travelling Through Air

As sound waves enter the ear tiny hairs deep within it are set in motion. The movement of these hairs triggers electrical impulses that go to the brain.