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SSS 2009-04-22

时间:2010-05-17 08:07来源:互联网 提供网友:木渐浅。   字体: [ ]
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This is Scientific American's 60-Second Science. I'm Karen Hopkin. This will just take a minute.

Just when you thought you’d heard everything, scientists have found that the reason you can hear everything—including things that are very quiet—is because your ears have tiny tubelike motors that mechanically amplify1 sounds.

You’ve probably heard that it’s the hair cells in your ears that allow you to hear. These cells sport tufts of spiky2 hairs that are like little molecular3 mohawks. When sound waves enter the ear these hairs vibrate, and that motion then gets translated into an electrical message that tells your brain that there’s something worth listening to. But the movement of those hairs is not passive, like tall grass swaying in the breeze. The electrical signals they produce feed back on the system, causing the hairs to tilt4 even more. It’s that so-called “flexo-electric effect” that basically boosts the audio signal and amplifies5 the sound, findings published in the April 22nd issue of the journal Public Library of Science ONE.

The scientists behind the study also note that the length of the hairs in different species explains why animals like bats can detect such high frequency sounds. It doesn’t, however, explain why your kids can hear their cell phone vibrate two rooms away, yet they never seem to hear a word you say.

 

Thanks for the minute for Scientific American's 60-Second Science. I'm Karen Hopkin

 


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1 amplify iwGzw     
vt.放大,增强;详述,详加解说
参考例句:
  • The new manager wants to amplify the company.新经理想要扩大公司。
  • Please amplify your remarks by giving us some examples.请举例详述你的话。
2 spiky hhczrZ     
adj.长而尖的,大钉似的
参考例句:
  • Your hairbrush is too spiky for me.你的发刷,我觉得太尖了。
  • The spiky handwriting on the airmail envelope from London was obviously hers.发自伦敦的航空信封上的尖长字迹分明是她的。
3 molecular mE9xh     
adj.分子的;克分子的
参考例句:
  • The research will provide direct insight into molecular mechanisms.这项研究将使人能够直接地了解分子的机理。
  • For the pressure to become zero, molecular bombardment must cease.当压强趋近于零时,分子的碰撞就停止了。
4 tilt aG3y0     
v.(使)倾侧;(使)倾斜;n.倾侧;倾斜
参考例句:
  • She wore her hat at a tilt over her left eye.她歪戴着帽子遮住左眼。
  • The table is at a slight tilt.这张桌子没放平,有点儿歪.
5 amplifies 538bea8689cc4de34b040ca6a03f58d6     
放大,扩大( amplify的第三人称单数 ); 增强; 详述
参考例句:
  • Gain is the number of times the amplifier amplifies a signal. 增益就是放大器放大信号的倍数。
  • Such panicky behaviour amplifies the impact of the Russian export ban. 这样的恐慌行为放大了俄罗斯小麦出口禁令的影响效应。
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TAG标签:   SSS  molecular
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