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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 89.djvu/83

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What the Word "Boat" Looks Like in Air Waves

iOO Cycles per second

i^ v 200 Cvc^ci Dfr second /OOO Cyc/ei per second -^o" i* btginning and iharp ending o/

^^ \ ^ y < ' the consonant -f'

���The middle curves above represent extra

tones in the man's voice and shmi' them

htlping the mcin or outside curve

��The cuive sho-j-n below, unlike the upper one. has no definite shape

���In the curve abiny, the extra tones o'e

mtxed 'u-ith the main tone, hindering any

analysis or study




��The protuberance from the man's mouth in the upper picture is not an unnatural excresence. He is merely pronouncing the word "boat" and molding air waves in the manner shown

��This slwws detail of the word "botU" as pronounced by the man shown in the illustration at lop of pai^e 67. "Boat" spelled phonetically, or as it sounds, is of course "h-o-t." Hence the curves for "(>," "o," and "t," are all that need concern us here and the "a" can be left out of consideration.

These curves look complicated but are really simple and demonstrate most interesting points. In fact, they show us how we realty speak, how we

��really mold air waves in pro- nouncing a given word. The upper set of curves are in the natural alphabet, as can be verified by comparing their shape with "b," "o," and "t" as given on page 68. The lower curve is the kind the old-time physics teacher would throw on a dark- ened screen as representing sound vibrations for such a word as "boat." It does represent such sound vibrations but they are in the crude, or unanalyzed state. The upper drawing shows

��the real multitude of curves whose jarring together, or "fight- ing," one might call it, caused the lower curve to be jagged and full of humps as it is. Mr. Flowers is the first to evolve this method of making clear the real nature of speech. Note how the machine shown o« page 67 actually traces "b-o-t" on paper in natural characters, which ordinarily exist as ephemeral sound wai'es in front of a speaker, and which are difficult to capture and study.

��mouth also aided in this. B\- dealing with whispers, however, the inventor at once eliminated all complications arising from the use of \'ocal cords and accom- panying resonant vibrations. He could actually determine how it was that one's lips, teeth and tongue shaped letter- sounds and words into air wa\'es.

As the figures on Page 66 explain, his apparatus was so sensitive that all sorts of whispered sounds could be recorded. The lower figure shows three sample records secured with the machine. Hun-

��dreds of others were obtained. It was found that each letter of the alphabet had a natural wave form of its own. This was the same no matter who the speaker was. In fact, it was found that these were the wave patterns, which, transmitted by the air, strike the ear and cause the brain to recognize a given letter as such. In other words, the letter patterns secured on photograph paper represented the actual wave shapes which everybody must use in conveying intelligence by means of


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