Public Release: 

Portland, Ore. to host major conference on acoustics and sound

157th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America, May 18-22, 2009

American Institute of Physics

April 17, 2009 -- From head-banging termites to laughing hyenas, from noisy rocket launches to silent hybrid cars, and from bacteria that cause heart attacks to the acoustics of wind turbines, few fields span as many subjects as acoustics, the study of sound.

Experts from backgrounds as diverse as medicine, music, psychology, engineering, and marine biology will come together from May 18-22 in Portland, Oregon to discuss, dissect, and describe the myriad sounds that fill our world at the 157th meeting of the Acoustical Society of America (ASA).

Journalists are invited to cover the upcoming meeting either onsite in Portland or online through the meeting's World Wide Press Room. Registration information can be found at the end of the release.

1) PRELIMINARY MEETING HIGHLIGHTS

The following list contains a few preliminary highlights of the meeting. In the coming weeks, additional news releases highlighting interesting meeting presentations in much more detail will be sent.

SOUNDING THE THIN ENEMY WITHIN

When bacterial biofilms form on damaged or diseased heart valves, the resulting inflammation causes an often deadly condition known as infective endocarditis. Currently there is no way to image these biofilms, but ultrasound contrast agents offer one novel, potential diagnostic method.
http://asa.aip.org/web2/asa/abstracts/search.may09/asa323.html

SPOTTING SPACE SHUTTLE LAUNCH FROM MILES AWAY

"Slowness mapping" has been applied to locate the direction of Space Shuttle and other rocket launches, clear air turbulence, and incidental sources found in the environment
http://asa.aip.org/web2/asa/abstracts/search.may09/asa985.html

PRAIRIE DOGS NAME THEIR KILLERS

Gunnison's prairie dogs alert each other when predators approach. Their alarms harmonically encode information such as the species of predator and a description of its size and color -- but how?
http://asa.aip.org/web2/asa/abstracts/search.may09/asa1043.html

A LASER-BASED METHOD FOR DETECTING SOUND THROUGH ICE

"The results of this landmark experiment will be presented, which demonstrate the feasibility for detecting underwater sound through an ice layer by probing the ice surface with a laser vibrometer, paving the way for in-air sensing in arctic regions..."
http://asa.aip.org/web2/asa/abstracts/search.may09/asa331.html

ARE HYBRID CARS TOO QUIET?

"Three experiments tested the relative audibility of hybrid vehicles (in their electric mode) and internal combustion engine cars... Implications of these results for pedestrian safety will be discussed."
http://asa.aip.org/web2/asa/abstracts/search.may09/asa1063.html

THE ACOUSTICS OF ARTIFICIAL DUCK CALLS

Detailed study of the acoustical features of several single-reed duck calls.
http://asa.aip.org/web2/asa/abstracts/search.may09/asa341.html

CAN RACE CAR SOUNDS SHATTER WINDOWS?

What was revealed in the investigation of a claim that the sound of race cars at a track caused a large pane of tempered glass in a private box to break, fall, and injure a spectator below?
http://asa.aip.org/web2/asa/abstracts/search.may09/asa633.html

THERE'S MORE TO THE HYENA'S LAUGH THAN MEETS THE EAR

"The results show that the hyena's laugh encodes information about age, dominance status, and individual identity, giving to receivers some cues to assess the social position of an emitting individual."
http://asa.aip.org/web2/asa/abstracts/search.may09/asa913.html

GRAND CANYON SOUNDSCAPE

"The past two Administrations have not conformed to specifications∕standards∕deadlines set or appropriate to the National Park Service under its legal mandates. However, every battle has its turning point. Will 2009 be the turning point to a quiet Canyon?"
http://asa.aip.org/web2/asa/abstracts/search.may09/asa937.html

THE ACOUSTICS OF WIND TURBINES

The current test methods, results, and past activities of the National Wind Technology Center (NWTC), which has been involved in wind turbine acoustics since the 1980s.
http://asa.aip.org/web2/asa/abstracts/search.may09/asa611.html

HEADBANGING TERMITES REVEAL THEMSELVES

"The termite head banging is the loudest and most diagnostic sound that termites make, and can be utilized for termite detection..."
http://asa.aip.org/web2/asa/abstracts/search.may09/asa918.html

DO FISH USE SOUND IN THE DEEP SEA?

Discovery of anatomical features in deep-sea fish suggest special auditory adaptations that may help them survive at great depths and with little light
http://asa.aip.org/web2/asa/abstracts/search.may09/asa105.html


2) WEBSITES OF INTEREST / MORE INFORMATION

Main meeting website is http://asa.aip.org/portland/information.html
Full meeting program is http://asa.aip.org/portland/program.html
Searchable meeting program is http://asa.aip.org/asasearch.html

3) ADDITIONAL MEETING NEWS RELEASES

Look for three press releases in April and early May highlighting newsworthy research on general topics, animal bioacoustics, and medical applications. All news releases will be posted to ASA's World Wide Press Room (see below).

4) WORLD-WIDE PRESS ROOM

ASA's World Wide Press Room will contain tips on dozens of stories as well as lay-language papers detailing some of the most newsworthy results at the meeting. Lay-language papers are roughly 500 word summaries written for a general audience by the authors of individual presentation with accompanying graphics and multimedia files. They serve as starting points for journalists who are interested in covering the meeting but cannot attend in person.

In late April, the World Wide Press Room (http://www.acoustics.org/press) will be updated with the new content for the 157th ASA meeting in Portland (currently it has content from the previous meeting, Acoustics '08 Miami).

5) PRESS REGISTRATION

Journalists are welcome to attend the conference free of charge. We will grant free registration to any credentialed full-time journalist or professional freelance journalist working on assignment for a major publication or outlet. If you are a reporter and would like to attend, please contact Jason Bardi (jbardi@aip.org, 301-209-3091). He can also help with setting up interviews or obtaining images, sound clips, or background information.

###

ABOUT THE ACOUSTICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA

The Acoustical Society of America (ASA) is the premier international scientific society in acoustics devoted to the science of technology of sound. Its 7,500 members worldwide represent a broad spectrum of the study of acoustics. ASA publications include The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America (the world's leading journal on acoustics), Acoustics Today magazine, books and standards on acoustics. The society also holds two major scientific meetings each year. For more information about ASA, visit our website at http://asa.aip.org.

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.