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Acoustical Quanta and the Theory of Hearing


IN popular expositions of wave mechanics, acoustical illustrations have been used by several authors, with particular success by Lande1. In a recent paper on the “Theory of Communication”2 I have taken the opposite course. Acoustical phenomena are discussed by mathematical methods closely related to those of quantum theory. While in physical acoustics a new formal approach to old problems cannot be expected to reveal much that is not already known, the position in subjective acoustics is rather different. In fact, the new methods have already proved their heuristic value, and can be expected to throw more light on the theory of hearing. In my original paper the point of view was mainly that of communication engineering ; in the following survey I have emphasized those features which may be of interest to physicists and to physiologists.


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GABOR, D. Acoustical Quanta and the Theory of Hearing. Nature 159, 591–594 (1947).

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