Scientists Make the World's Smallest "Microphone" From a Single Molecule

With a name like "microphone," you'd expect something small—but perhaps not quite as small as this. Scientist have figured out how to use just one molecule to detect the vibrations from sound. » 10/02/14 2:15pm 10/02/14 2:15pm

How are these water drops just floating on the surface of the water?

Water isn't supposed to float on top of water because well, water is water. So how are these droplets of water suspended on the surface of the water? Sound. The water is actually on top of a speaker and the acoustic vibrations allows the water drops to stay as drops on top of water. » 9/24/14 10:33pm 9/24/14 10:33pm

Aphex Twin's Selected Ambient Works Volume II Turns 20

Bay Area sound critic Marc Weidenbaum—acoustic historian, noise futurist, music instructor, and writer of a brand new book about Aphex Twin—has been blogging about music, electronics, and everyday sounds at his blog Disquiet here at Gizmodo for the last few months. » 3/14/14 6:40pm 3/14/14 6:40pm

Listening to the Secret Sounds of the Large Hadron Collider

From the Golden Gate Bridge to an ancient Japanese bell, the physical structures around us are humming with secret sound. Artist Bill Fontana has made a career of capturing these haunting and complex soundscapes. As an artist at residence at CERN, he's mostly recently been listening in on the world's largest particle… » 3/12/14 9:40am 3/12/14 9:40am

These Scale-Shaped Tiles Will Soundproof Your Room With Style

There's nothing worse than an echo-y room. It feels empty and sounds like you're inside a tin can. Thankfully, you can fix all that with these customizable, multi-colored tiles just released by the Madrid-based Stone Designs. » 2/14/14 5:40pm 2/14/14 5:40pm

Using Subterranean Acoustics to Explore Ancient Cave Art

You don't even need a flashlight to look for cave paintings in the dark: you just need the sound of your own voice. By listening to echoes as they walk through Spanish caves, acoustic archaeologists are unlocking the secrets of underground soundscapes. » 2/13/14 6:40pm 2/13/14 6:40pm

Listen to the Purring, Electromagnetic Weirdness of Mushrooms

I was blown away when I first heard about a project that tried to tap into the electromagnetic communication potential of mushrooms. Using wires, radio waves, and circuits—not psychedelics—the project's off-kilter quest to find (and listen to) "electromagnetic fungi" was nonetheless more art than science. But who says… » 2/01/14 9:00pm 2/01/14 9:00pm

Berlin's BoomRoom Plays Sounds Only You Can Hear (and Touch)

You know how some big rooms have special spots where you can stand and hear someone whisper from a hundred feet away. What if speakers could do that, selectively slinging sounds to specific listeners for specific purposes? You'd never have to wear headphones again! » 1/31/14 6:20pm 1/31/14 6:20pm

This Insanely Loud Sound System Can Actually Kill You

Being shot into space puts spacecraft under extreme stress—but did you know that the sound of the rocket launch can damage a craft? Inside the Large European Acoustic Facility, engineers recreate the incredible noise of a launch to make sure satellites can survive it. According to the ESA, "no human could survive" the… » 1/29/14 1:00pm 1/29/14 1:00pm

Eavesdropping on the Secret Sounds of Trees

What if we could identify plants not by sight but by sound? It's not entirely fanciful: every plant makes a unique set of sounds—an auditory signature, if you will—influenced by its physiology. But these sounds, usually in the ultrasonic range, are not for our ears. » 1/23/14 11:20am 1/23/14 11:20am

Listening For the Earth's Heartbeat Inside the World's Deepest Hole

In September 1990, a group of scientists put a drill head to the ground in southern Germany, where two landmasses once merged to form the supercontinent Pangaea 300 million years ago. Their goal? To drill the deepest hole ever made into the earth, a "telescope" into its core. » 1/06/14 10:40am 1/06/14 10:40am

How an Underwater Bomb in Australia Was Heard Around the World

In 1960, scientists did one of those experiments that just aren't allowed anymore. For the sake of science, they blew up three 3oo-lb anti-submarine bombs off the coast of Australia. A listening station 10,000 miles away in Bermuda—on the exact other side of the planet—waited. And waited. And, about three and a half… » 12/10/13 4:20pm 12/10/13 4:20pm

Experimental Airport Acoustics Make Travelers Want to Shop More

In an interesting but somewhat obviously biased New Statesman article, the marketing team at audio-engineering firm Biamp have collected a few interesting examples of how architectural acoustics and urban-scale soundscape design affect mood. They mention, for example, the stressful effects of sustained noise on blood… » 11/25/13 2:00pm 11/25/13 2:00pm

5 Eye-Popping Designs That Visualize Sound

You unlock this post with the key of imagination. Beyond it is another dimension—a dimension of sound, a dimension of sight, a dimension of mind. You're moving into a collection of both shadow and substance, of things and ideas. » 11/19/13 9:20am 11/19/13 9:20am

New Noise-Cancelling Technology for Restaurants Uses 123 Speakers to…

The days of having to shout over the noise at a restaurant may be over, thanks to a new digital noise-cancelling technology designed together by Meyer Sound and former Phish manager-turned-restauranteur, John Paluska. Utilizing a combination of speakers, microphones, ipads, sound-dampening materials, and human ears,… » 5/25/12 3:40pm 5/25/12 3:40pm

What Is This?

Cylon raider? A new Tron vehicle that we'll see in an upcoming director's cut? Definitive proof that we are not alone? Actually, it's none of those things, but the dead silence it produces is amazing anyway. » 7/03/11 4:00pm 7/03/11 4:00pm

An iPhone 4 Amplifier That Doesn't Need Any Electricity

The Phonofone III, like the Phonofone II before it, pumps tunes from your iPhone at 60dB without having to be plugged in to any outlet. Yup. It's just big beautiful acoustic amplification. » 11/30/10 9:20am 11/30/10 9:20am

The Non-Electronic iPhone Dock

Electricity—who needs it!? The Koostik, an iPhone dock made of wood (and nothing else), has "specially designed sound channels and hemispherical sound chambers" for "rich, dynamic and natural acoustic amplification." Perfect for the iPhone-user with an Amish streak. » 11/23/10 8:35am 11/23/10 8:35am

Penn State's New Twelfth Man Is Science

Penn State's Beaver Stadium is already one of the toughest away venues in college football. But this fall—thanks to some scientific chicanery—it's going to be nearly 50% louder, making it almost impossible for opposing QBs to be heard. » 5/06/10 2:00pm 5/06/10 2:00pm