Neon Lamp Traces Sound Wave’s Picture (Sep, 1950)

This is pretty cool. Of course now you can do this much better and in real-time with even the cheapest PC.

Neon Lamp Traces Sound Wave’s Picture
That’s a sound wave you see in the picture above. Here demonstrating how an acoustic lens focuses sound from a horn, the wave was made visible with the device at left—an aluminum rod with a microphone and a neon lamp at the end. A small motor swings the rod in a wide arc, scanning the area. The microphone picks up the sound and turns it into electric current to feed the lamp. Wherever the sound is strongest, the light is brightest, and the wave is traced out. A complete sound photo, such as this from Bell Labs, takes 10 minutes exposure.

12 comments
  1. Stannous says: July 24, 20078:43 am

    “This is pretty cool. Of course now you can do this much better and in real-time with even the cheapest PC.”

    How, please?

  2. Charlie says: July 24, 20079:07 am

    You should be able to use a microphone to record the sound into a sound editing program. Almost all of them let you see the waveform as you record. That’s basically what this is. No?

  3. jsmiley125 says: July 25, 20071:18 pm

    I think what they’re trying to show is the physical movement of the sound waves through the air; as opposed to the “waveform” of the sound. Physical movement through air would require specialized computer software and/or hardware. But yes, any old audio editor can show you the waveform.

  4. [...] Neon Lamp Traces Sound Wave’s Picture (Popular Mechanics Sep, 1950) Modern Mechanix » Neon Lamp Traces Sound Wave’s Picture: [...]

  5. MG says: March 24, 200812:09 pm

    Awesome

  6. MG says: March 24, 200812:12 pm

    ..thanks

  7. uncountable says: November 5, 20083:05 pm

    No you can’t do this on a pc. The device that was advertised here actually experimentally measured the wave phenomenon. A computer shows you a cartoon version if it. Be very careful about confusing the two. The current trend in education is to promote this confusion.

    Anyhow, this is a cool demo. Thanks for posting it.

  8. reyuki says: February 27, 201011:05 am

    ..if just can make more bigger than that ..and that can solve the problem of tsunami….i think…

  9. Jari says: March 1, 20107:54 pm

    reyuki: Think again, the energy density of wave in liquid is several decades higher than in gas.

  10. [...] out. A complete sound photo, such as this from Bell Labs, takes 10 minutes exposure. ~ Bell Labs, Link Eco World Content From Across The Internet. Featured on EcoPressed European Debt Crisis [...]

  11. [...] Neon Lamp Traces Sound Wave, Bell Labs, 1950. Link Neon Lamp Traces Sound Wave’s Picture That’s a sound wave you see in the picture above. Here demonstrating how an acoustic lens focuses sound from a horn, the wave was made visible with the device at left – an aluminum rod with a microphone and a neon lamp at the end. A small motor swings the rod in a wide arc, scanning the area. The microphone picks up the sound and turns it into electric current to feed the lamp. Wherever the sound is strongest, the light is brightest, and the wave is traced out. A complete sound photo, such as this from Bell Labs, takes 10 minutes exposure. ~ Bell Labs, Link [...]

  12. […] don’t work for me as the room is very complex. I also know of this long-exposure technique: http://blog.modernmecha… but it’s very […]

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