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Visualizing audible frequencies

  1. Jul 26, 2006 #1
    Is it possible?

    It is said that the human being can hear from a dynamic range of 20 hz to 20,000 hz. Apparently, the human eye is not able to detect audible frequencies.

    I have a question though...

    Can we see audible frequencies? Our are eyes capable of catching them?

    If a drop of water comes into contact with the bottom of a glass and I'm able to hear the drops of water through a pattern (periodic vibration) aren't I capable of seeing audible frequencies?

    I'm confused, someone help me please.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 26, 2006 #2


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    The eye detects light (electromagnetic waves) with wavelengths approximately from 400 to 700 nm. This corresponds to frequencies from [itex]4.3 \times 10^{14}[/itex] to [itex]7.5 \times 10^{14}[/itex] Hz. This is very very very far from the audible range.

    Besides, light waves (waves of electric and magnetic fields) and sound waves (waves of spatial vibrations of air molecules) are completely different in their fundamental nature. Even if you had electromagnetic waves in the range of 20-20000 Hz (which wouldn't be light, but very low frequency radio waves), you wouldn't be able to hear them.
  4. Jul 26, 2006 #3
    the medium that supports sound and light are different. Light consists of electrical vibrations, while sounds are mechanical: it is air, or a material that vibrates. our brain is made to transform mechanical impulses of the ear and electrical impulses of the eye
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