Extra Credit/ Sound Symposium/ James Martin

I attended the Sound and Science Symposium on Friday from 2-3 and found it very interesting.  The guest speaker was James P. Crutchfield, a physics professor at UC Davis and the Vice President of the Art and Science Lab in New Mexico.  He spoke about his project entitled “Insects, Trees and Climate: Case Studies in Parallel Perception.  Professor Crutchfield was very interested in animals and wildlife.  He first found that frogs were emitting ultrasound to communicate amongst one another.  They were not mating due to bad physical conditions and were communicating to each other that they were not going to mate.  Crutchfield then tried to see how ultrasound was used in nature in the middle of the forest.  What he found was astonishing.

Trees were communicating and giving off ultrasound.  It was the environments way of communicating.  He found that the trees were dehydrated due to drought and were giving off certain frequencies around 150KHz.  Once he found that the trees he thought his job was over, but there was still a great discovery: the bark beetle.  Bark beetles had infested the trees and were causing the trees to be extremely dehydrated.  Crutchfield created a vibration transducer to try and hear what was happening inside the trees.  What he found was that the bark beetles were communicating through ultrasound chirps.  They were giving off frequencies anywhere from 200-300KHz.  Trees are dying off and many thought that it had to due with a lack of water but in fact it had everything to do with the bark beetle.  Nanotechnology has discovered many aspects of life and is very helpful in many other projects.

I also caught the very end of another project however I was unable to get the name of the artist.  Basically, she put sound stations all over New York City and collected sounds and data for certain periods of time.  The sounds were collected to show what was happening in New York and placed on the Internet so anyone could hear it.  The sounds that came varied.  This is believed oft be of different CO2 concentrations in the air, which caused different pitches and sounds.  Sound was collected in order to give a picture of the city.

James Martin

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