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J. Perelman
"Entertaining physics". Book 1.
Chapter 10. Sound and hearing

AUDITORY ILLUSIONS

If we for some reason imagined that the light source of the noise is not near us, but much further away, the sound will seem to be much louder. Such illusions of hearing happens to us quite often; we just don't always pay attention to them.

Here's an interesting case, which he described in his “Psychology” American scientist William James:

“Late one night I was sitting and reading; suddenly from the upper part of the house came a terrible noise, stopped and then, after a moment, resumed. I went out into the hall to listen to the noise, but it was not repeated. As soon as I got back to my room and sit down at the book again up alarm, loud noise, just before the storm. It was coming from everywhere. Extremely alarmed, I went out again into the hall, and again the noise stopped.

Returning a second time to my room, I suddenly discovered that the noise was produced by his snoring little dog, been sleeping on the floor!...

It is curious that, once having discovered the true cause of the noise, I could not, despite all efforts to resume the old illusion”.

Probably the reader will be able to think of similar examples from your life. I happened to watch them repeatedly.

Entertaining physics J. Perelman

 




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