Can the human ear hear a single wave pulse?

  • Thread starter jerromyjon
  • Start date
  • #1
1,241
189

Main Question or Discussion Point

Hi, I am referring to a pulse as one single 2π radian wave of preferably two frequencies at either end of the range. By two frequencies I mean that I would like to know if the detection of an audible continuous tone differs from their single oscillation frequency and/or intensity.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
atyy
Science Advisor
13,853
2,134
A single wave pulse will sound more like a click. Essentially, if you look at the Fourier transform, the many different frequencies of infinite duration are added together to cancel out in just the right way to leave a pulse.
 
  • #3
1,241
189
A single wave pulse will sound more like a click
So a low pitch (below 1kHz?) would be a "tick" I'm thinking, and as the frequency increases it would increase towards a "tink", since the "pitch" is higher and the duration is shorter? My eyes glazed over when I tried to comprehend the Fourier transform... I guess 1-4kHz is the emphasis of my interest being the range of heightened sensitivity.
 
  • #4
Pythagorean
Gold Member
4,193
258
So a low pitch (below 1kHz?) would be a "tick" I'm thinking, and as the frequency increases it would increase towards a "tink", since the "pitch" is higher and the duration is shorter? My eyes glazed over when I tried to comprehend the Fourier transform... I guess 1-4kHz is the emphasis of my interest being the range of heightened sensitivity.
The spectrum of an impulse is broad, not focused at just one frequency. If it were focused at one frequency it would be more of a tone than a tick and it wouldn't be an impulse in the time-domain (it would have more curves, as it were).
 
  • #5
atyy
Science Advisor
13,853
2,134
So a low pitch (below 1kHz?) would be a "tick" I'm thinking, and as the frequency increases it would increase towards a "tink", since the "pitch" is higher and the duration is shorter? My eyes glazed over when I tried to comprehend the Fourier transform... I guess 1-4kHz is the emphasis of my interest being the range of heightened sensitivity.
You can get a feeling for it at http://www.audiocheck.net/audiofrequencysignalgenerator_sinetone.php. Let's say we use a frequency of 500 Hz. Making the duration 0.2 s will give something that sounds like a tone, but making it 0.02 s will give something that sounds like burst of noise. So if you made it even shorted, to 0.002, which I think is what you asked, it will also not sound tone-like.
 
  • #6
1,241
189
Hi and thanks for the link! The 100Hz at 0.01s was the shortest duration I could get, and at 500Hz it sounds a bit lower pitch to me but that is 5 waves so you get more of a perception of the real continuous pitch. Just as a baseline of what should be nothing a .1s pulse of 10Hz is audible so that negates the point of my query, as I can't trust my high quality ear buds to produce a single isolated wave. I need to get some "quiet time" to experiment and see what I can deduce from what I can produce.
 

Related Threads on Can the human ear hear a single wave pulse?

  • Last Post
Replies
7
Views
3K
Replies
6
Views
5K
Replies
2
Views
1K
Replies
5
Views
5K
  • Last Post
Replies
9
Views
317
Replies
6
Views
3K
  • Last Post
Replies
3
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
2
Views
6K
Replies
19
Views
23K
  • Last Post
Replies
1
Views
2K
Top