Letter | Published:

The Duration of Resonance in the Internal Ear

Nature volume 101, page 204 (16 May 1918) | Download Citation



HELMHOLTZ's estimate, 9.5 free vibrations to reduce the intensity of a sound to one-tenth of its original value, was drawn from the effect of shakes or trills in music. It would have been better, instead of a reiteration of notes, to take the simple case of a single note ending staccato, as exemplified daily in speech. The reproduction here of a typical, mouth-tracing; made with the kymograph, of the word; utter in a phrase intoned rapidly at pitch 100, and timed by a 100 fork, shows that 9.5 vibrations would completely obliterate the mute or silence between the two utterances of voice. It would be impossible to distinguish utter from udder.

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  1. University College, London, May 6.

    • W. PERRETT


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