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Joe Thunder

Science brain teasers require understanding of the physical or biological world and the laws that govern it.


Puzzle ID:#11245
Fun:**** (3.15)
Difficulty:*** (2.7)
Submitted By:od-1Aca****
Corrected By:4demo




As his name would suggest, Joe was not a meek, quiet fellow. In fact he had such difficulty keeping quiet, both his local and university library banned him. His roommate, being a music major and a sound engineer, said he could solve his problem, but Joe would need to trust him. He gave Joe his 75-watt ghetto blaster, a CD, fake mustache, and a long blond wig. Joe, who is sceptical but intrigued, decided to give it a shot. Joe, disguised as one of the professors, entered the university library. He placed the CD player on the table in front of him; loaded the CD; cranked the volume full and braced himself as he turned it on. Surprisingly there was only a very very faint sshh. Joe then realized that he couldn't hear anything at all. He spoke normally, and then yelled, but no one reacted. Awesome, he thought as he began flailing his arms around and shouting as loud as he could. Unfortunately, the librarian, seeing him moving but hearing nothing, assumed he was choking and performed the Heimlich maneuver on him, knocking his wig off, causing the librarian to perform the hind kick maneuver right out the door. Poor Joe.
But what had his roommate done? What was on that mysterious CD that made everything quiet?


Think sound and what people can and can't hear.

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(user deleted)
Mar 26, 2003

Hehe... hind kick maneuver... that's funny :-)
Mar 27, 2003

cool teaser
Mar 30, 2003

Hear Ye! Hear Ye ! a good informative teaser. More
Apr 02, 2003

Sounds good to me.
May 14, 2003

I like this one. In fact, I was going to do a teaser with a similar concept, but I won't know. It was done nicely here!
Jun 06, 2003 problem with this teaser. Mr. Thunder would have to have a very, very good CD player in order for this to work. Manufacturers tend to build stereo equipment that only responds to the human aural response range (in order to filter out unwanted electrical impulses and suchlike) - hence the low-frequency sound on the CD would not make it past all but the very best speakers.
Oct 10, 2004

i don't get it....
Dec 09, 2004

rad I love your teasers
Jan 15, 2005

i figured out the waves canceling part but not the specifics
Jun 25, 2005

Wow! I totally did NOT get that one, but I learned a lot! Awesome!
Jul 06, 2005

How interesting. I like these science teasers; I learn neat facts from them!
Aug 25, 2005

I did not know that, very cool
Oct 15, 2005

Cool little fact, but very poorly written to tell the truth. I had a hard time deciphering the riddle due to the lack of proper punctuation and such. More of a trivia question than a riddle or puzzle really, as it took actual knowledge of the technology rather than problem-solving skills to figure it out.
Dec 04, 2005

cool teaser. actually rhettfairy, this is not truley a riddle. its a science riddle which is like trivia although you probably did have to be a science whiz to know that one! that was very interseting and i learned something new.
Dec 22, 2005

Wow..... I found this one to be absolutely fascinating!!! I had no idea there was "sound cancelling" technology!! Makes me wonder if the "principle" demonstrated here explains why a person with a mild to moderate hearing loss has more trouble understanding speech when there is background noise. I know that most consonant sounds in human speech are in the higher frequency range. Assuming that the background noise is of a lower frequency, but still audible.... would the background noise actually cancel out the higher pitched sounds, and thus make it difficult for one to understand conversation? Any scientists out there that know the answer to this?
Apr 14, 2006

i knew this one .
some guy let me use his bose headphones on the plane .
May 28, 2006

Excellent, I hadn't heard of that before (no pun intended).

I can't believe someone complaining about the punctuation. Maybe they had PERIOD pains or need to undergo COLONic irrigation .
Nov 20, 2006

Bose use a different technology...
look up Noise cancelling headphone in Wikipedia (link not allowed here since it has >50 letters)
Apr 02, 2007

Here is a link to the Wikipedia article about how noise cancellation actually works.

Joe's boombox would have to be very advanced indeed.
Jul 20, 2007

This is utterly nonsensical.
The phenomenon demonstrated here is as fictitious as Joe Thunder.

Active Noise Cancellation doesn't work by playing random infrasounds as said here. It produces sound patterns identical to ambient noise, inverted. So the two (Noise and Anti-Noise) cancel out in the ear.

The idea of an inaudible sound "drowning" other sounds simply because it's more intense (not LOUDer, loudness concerns audible sounds) is against the Principle of Superposition.
(user deleted)
Feb 06, 2011

This is not how sound cancellation works. The author has confused masking with sound cancellation. Masking works by playing a sound loud enough to render another sound inaudible. Sound cancellation works by creating another sound with 180 degree phase shift to reduce the amplitude of the first sound.

An inaudible sound cannot be "louder" than an audible sound and an inaudible sound cannot mask an audible sound.
Jun 17, 2012

That is AWESOME!!! I don't care what all those comments said, it's still one of the coolest things I've ever heard of. I wish there was, like, a YouTube video that recorded that sound, then I would play it and talk. AWESOME!!
Jun 17, 2012

That is AWESOME!!! I don't care what all those comments said, it's still one of the coolest things I've ever heard of. I wish there was, like, a YouTube video that recorded that sound, then I would play it and talk. AWESOME!!
Jun 19, 2014


Not how noise cancelling headphones work. Think about it... you can't see a computer screen outside because there is too much visible light drowning it out. This riddle suggestes you wouldn't be able to see a computer screen when there is too much radio frequency light around. It makes no sense.

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