Ultrasound and Infrasound

  • J. D. Pye
  • W. R. LangbauerJr.


Ultrasound and infrasound differ from “ordinary” sounds in three distinct ways that influence all the considerations of this chapter. The first and most obvious characteristic of these sound types is that, by definition, they are “extreme” frequencies that fall outside the normal response curve for the human ear (see Figure 1) and are therefore inaudible. Ultrasound, which includes biologically significant sounds ranging from 15 kHz or so up to 200 kHz, is too high in frequency. Infrasound, effectively extending downwards from about 20 to 0.1 Hz or less, is too low in frequency. In both cases, therefore, it is necessary to use special instruments merely to detect the signals, which only increases the fascination of studying them. When the appropriate technology is applied, it becomes possible to observe phenomena that may be quite common among nonhuman species, but have previously been unknown.


Guinea Fowl Atmospheric Attenuation Ultrasound Detector Infrasonic Signal Echolocation Pulse 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. D. Pye
  • W. R. LangbauerJr.

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