Whistlers- Joshua Wilson (extra credit)

On Friday I attended many lectures for extra credit, the one I’m going to blog about is titled “Aesthetics of Natural Radio” by Douglas Kahn. Now I want to first start off by saying this was one of the most boring lecture that I attended on that Friday so this blog may not seem interesting because I hardly found anything fascinating, or even helpful. Usually the lectures that occurred Thursday and Friday spoke on things that somewhat related to nature or was fascinating. For the most part the lecture was about whistlers which had something to do with nature but was still not so interesting. The kind of whistlers I’m describing is defined as a very low frequency electromagnetic (radio) wave generated by lightning. Frequencies of whistlers are 1 to 30 kHz, with maximum usually at 3 to 5 kHz. Although they are electromagnetic waves, they occur at audio frequencies, and can be converted to audio using a suitable receiver. So the lecture wasn’t about an ordinary whistle, but a whistle developed through nature. In the lecture Douglas reported that “whistler documented over a period of six years from 1888 to 1894 at the Sonnblick Meteorological Observatory in Austria, in a 22-km long telephone line”. I didn’t see any importance in this quote; I just wrote it to help describe the main points of his lecture. I actually now that I think about it found something interesting about whistlers, that they were used in WWI. Douglas quoted “whistlers commonly heard in wireless gear (air and earth) used in communications and surveillance”, so I suppose they were very helpful in the WWI.

In a more described way, what causes an  earth whistler is when we have a situation when in the ionized gas that exists in the region of space; frequencies just so happen to not travel at the same speed, which in return produces a whistling tone that decreases in frequency with increasing time. Now that I think about it, things that occur in nature are unique because they occur for a reason. We humans have found ways to utilized some of natures attributes to the world by turning them into things that could benefit us on a personal level. It has also been said by educators on Wikipedia that there has been whistling sounds heard on Jupiter, which indicates that lighting strikes there. So if lighting is apart of nature and some signs of nature have been reported to have occurred on Jupiter, maybe there is life out side the earth atmosphere. There being life outside the earth atmosphere is pretty hard to phantom because we have searched and found nothing. Do I believe that there is life else where besides earth? Well it’s hard to think not but I also believe that man is the next thing closest to GOD. I believe man is God’s greatest creation, who has great powers, but has also created a world of chaos.

I notice that I digressed from the topic and that’s only because the lecture  was not all that interesting, but when I think about life and how things work in nature, I find many interesting things. The world is beautiful.  



Joshua Wilson

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