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Thread: friction and hearing

  1. #1 friction and hearing 
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    What is the contribution of friction to hearing? Would one be able to hear in the absence of friction?


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  3. #2  
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    yes, sound is the propagation of pressure waves, and we hear the sound when these waves enter your ear and trigger the sensors in you cochlea.

    I don't see any relation to friction, apart from the fact that slipping objects often cause audible vibrations.


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  4. #3  
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    yes, you would be able to hear without friction. It's pressure waves are detected in hearing, not a frictional force.
    Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools, because they have to say something.
    -Plato

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  5. #4 Re: friction and hearing 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chocolateh
    What is the contribution of friction to hearing? Would one be able to hear in the absence of friction?
    The dissipation or damping of sound waves is basically a frictional effect.

    If there were no friction sound waves would simply propagate forever, undamped.

    If there were no friction there would be such a cacaphony of noise in the world that your sense of heariing would be utterly useless. You would be able to hear noise, and at quiite high volume when sound waves interfered constructively, but you would not be able to obtain any information from that sound.

    It would be like being locked inside a preschool --- forever.
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  6. #5  
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    On the other hand, a lot of that noise is generated by friction, so without it there wouldn't be as much noise to begin with. That's not the only source of noise though (AFAIK) so it'd still get pretty loud.
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  7. #6  
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    +1 Dr Rocket...........

    isn't it a bit of an oxymoron - indeed how exactly could matter interact without friction?
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  8. #7  
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatman57
    +1 Dr Rocket...........

    isn't it a bit of an oxymoron - indeed how exactly could matter interact without friction?
    Friction is a macroscopic effect. It is in fact not as well understood as one might think. Richard Feynman broke his pick trying to develop a fundamental theory of friction.

    Matter interacts without friction all the time at the level of elementary particles.
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  9. #8  
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrRocket
    Matter interacts without friction all the time at the level of elementary particles.
    Are you coming out of suspended animation (Hibernation) Dr. Rocket.

    Are you trying to eliminate a plug?, You answer every question. You must be Edward Witten?
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  10. #9  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geo
    You must be Edward Witten?
    I wish.
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  11. #10  
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrRocket
    Quote Originally Posted by fatman57
    +1 Dr Rocket...........

    isn't it a bit of an oxymoron - indeed how exactly could matter interact without friction?
    Friction is a macroscopic effect. It is in fact not as well understood as one might think. Richard Feynman broke his pick trying to develop a fundamental theory of friction.

    Matter interacts without friction all the time at the level of elementary particles.
    what happens 'at the level of elementary particles?'
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  12. #11  
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    elemental forces.

    Friction is a complicated and combined effect of a lot of different effects, such as adhesion, cohesion, material deformation, surface tension, flow resistance, mechanical resistance of asperities.

    It is impossible to model it accurately (except perhaps for special cases), but there exist models that approximate it quite well. Even then, friction has the habit of changing in time, with temperature, with moisture level...

    It is also difficult to draw a line between what is friction and what is not friction.
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