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Does electricity create sound?


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#1 BPHgravity

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Posted 2 May 2004 - 02:25 AM

Have you ever noticed that when a large electrical system is shut down, a very loud clicking noise with a low frequency hum follows? I was recently at a baseball game when three separate banks of lights were shut down one after another. The noise was as I described above. Click-boom, Click-boom, Click-boom.

Also, have you ever been asleep and wake up right at the moment the power goes out during a storm? In this example, it is almost like the sound of silence is greater than the sound of background noise. Is that possibly the same effect taking place in the question above? Can electricity make noise and sound? :confused:
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#2 swansont

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Posted 2 May 2004 - 12:02 PM

There are lots of effects where an electrical interaction causes sound. Lightning is one example, where you heat the surrounding air and get thunder. Any spark will give a similar effect.

AC in a transformer causes the domains in the core to continually change direction, and the iron actually expands and contracts slightly as this occurs, so you get a humming.

A rapid shutoff of current that creates a magnetic field will often give a large back-emf from Faraday's/Lenz's laws. This, I think, can also cause noises.
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#3 YT2095

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Posted 2 May 2004 - 06:29 PM

Does electricity create sound?

No :)
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#4 Crash

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Posted 3 May 2004 - 04:15 AM

Whats the defining crack i hear when i see strong lightning?
What about thos power thingys on the street? they always hum
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#5 BPHgravity

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Posted 3 May 2004 - 10:38 AM

Those power "thingys" you see on the street are transformers. They "hum" due to the effect described by swansont. Same with the lightning. The sound I am questioning does not appear to have any physically explanation to its source. I can repeat the phenomenon at a lower scale in my lab. The larger the current flow, the louder the sound. I feel most people have learned to tune the sound out as it is a background noise heard since birth. I have worked with electrical systems for ten years and have begun to "sense" another component of its process. The effect can also be simulated on high potential, high frequency, and low current circuits. This tells me that it is not directly related to current, but more of a power issue.

I do not have a strong enough engineering or theory background to explain this beyond my understanding of electricity, which is mostly application and installation of electrical systems. I plan on doing some Nikola Tesla research to determine if this effect was ever noticed or studied by him.
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#6 YT2095

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Posted 3 May 2004 - 06:32 PM

it is indeed possible to detect HT electricity in its locale, but it`s not via ears or hearing, I also am somewhat atune to this as I`ve had 24+ years working and building such aparatus, yes, your quite right, you DO get a kind of "sense" for it.
I think it`s more to do with the tiny hairs we have all over us, a little bit like a pigeon can use certain feather types to detect electro and geo magnetic feilds, and the same reason your hair stands on end when insulated and holding the sphere in a Van De Graff generator, that`s only MY opinion though, it just seems to be the most logical explaination for it :)
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