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Can the human ear hear a single wave pulse?

  1. Jun 9, 2015 #1
    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.
     
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  3. Jun 9, 2015 #2

    atyy

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    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.
     
  4. Jun 9, 2015 #3
    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.
     
  5. Jun 10, 2015 #4

    Pythagorean

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    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).
     
  6. Jun 10, 2015 #5

    atyy

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    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.
     
  7. Jun 10, 2015 #6
    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.
     
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