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Timeline - Underwater acoustics

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Slide the time bar to see key dates relating to early discoveries about The Noisy Reef. Pause the mouse pointer over any of the boxes to see additional information about each event. Find out more about key developments in underwater acoustics by browsing or searching the hub.

1490

First reports

Leonardo da Vinci writes the first reports of listening to sound under water. “If you cause your ship to stop and place the head of a long tube in the water and place the outer extremity to your ear, you will hear ships at a great distance from you.”

1687

Sound and mathematics

Sir Isaac Newton first describes sound in mathematical terms.

1829

Underwater measurements

Physicist Jean-Daniel Colladon and mathematician Jacques Charles François Sturm make the first measurements of the speed of sound under water.

1850s

Helmholtz resonator

German physician and physicist Hermann von Helmholtz designs the first Helmholtz resonator.

1857

Hertz born

The birth of German physicist Heinrich Rudolf Hertz – a founder of the field of electromagnetic theory and namesake for the hertz unit.

1912

Submarines

Technology for listening for submarines under water is developed and deployed for the first time.

1919

First scientific paper

The first scientific paper on underwater acoustics is published.

1923

Bel

The transmission unit (TU) is renamed the ‘bel’ in honour of the founder of Bell Laboratories, Alexander Graham Bell.

1946

Physics of sound

The book Physics of Sound in the Sea is published as a summary of advances in the field during World War II.

1946

Oscilloscope

Americans Howard Vollum and Jack Murdock develop the triggered oscilloscope – the forerunner to the modern oscilloscope.

1958

Underwater recording station

The New Zealand Navy places a permanent underwater recording station on Great Barrier Island in the Hauraki Gulf.

1960

Hertz becomes standard unit

The General Conference on Weights and Measures adopts the hertz as the standard unit for measuring the frequency of sound, replacing cycles per second (CPS).

1962

Evening chorus

New Zealand scientists identify the ‘evening chorus’ and propose kina as the source of the increase in underwater reef sound at dusk.

2008

Kina and noise

Researchers from the Leigh Marine Laboratory conclusively show the role of kina in the production of reef noise.

2010

Crab larvae and noise

Researchers from the Leigh Marine Laboratory publish their studies on the settlement and metamorphosis of crab larvae in response to reef noise.

Acknowledgements:
Image: Andy Heyward
Sound: www.sounddogs.comexternal link

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