Discord: The Story of Noise

Paperback | January 20, 2014

byMike Goldsmith

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Noise is a widely recognized problem and health concern in the modern world. Given the importance of managing noise levels and developing suitable "soundscapes" in contexts such as industry, schools, or public spaces, this is an area of active research for acousticians. But noise, in the senseof dissonance, can also be used positively; composers have employed it from Baroque music to Rock feedback; medicine harnesses it to shatter kidney stones and treat cancer; and even the military uses it in (real and rumoured) weapons. Mike Goldsmith looks back at the long history of the battle between people and noise - a battle that has changed our lives and moulded our societies. He investigates how increasing noise levels relate to human progress, from the clatter of wheels on cobbles to the sound of heavy machinery; heexplains how our scientific understanding of sound and hearing has developed; and he looks at noise in nature, including the remarkable ways in which some animals, such as shrimps, use noise as a weapon or to catch prey. He concludes by turning to the future, discussing the noise sources which arelikely to dominate it and the ways in which new science and new ideas may change the way our future will sound.

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From the Publisher

Noise is a widely recognized problem and health concern in the modern world. Given the importance of managing noise levels and developing suitable "soundscapes" in contexts such as industry, schools, or public spaces, this is an area of active research for acousticians. But noise, in the senseof dissonance, can also be used positively;...

Mike Goldsmith has a PhD in astrophysics from Keele University, awarded for research into variable supergiant stars and cosmic dust formation. From 1987 until 2007 he worked in the Acoustics Group at the UK's National Physical Laboratory and was Head of the group for many years. His work there included research into automatic speech re...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:336 pages, 7.72 × 5.08 × 0.07 inPublished:January 20, 2014Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019968779X

ISBN - 13:9780199687794

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. The Nature of Noise2. A Silent Bang3. Classical Noise4. The End of Science5. A New Science of Sound6. Noise in the Eighteenth Century7. Machineries of Noise8. The First Champions of Silence9. New Worlds10. Noise in Wartime11. A Time of Peace?12. A Different Kind of War13. A New Beginning?14. The Power of Science15. A New Pollution16. Noise Now17. A Quieter Tomorrow?

Editorial Reviews

"[a] spectacularly good book." --New Scientist 15/09/2012