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The use of reflected SOUND WAVEs for obtaining environmental information. Certain animals, such as the bat and the porpoise, emit pulses of extremely high frequency sound (up to 50 kHz for bats, and up to 170 kHz for porpoises and whales) in narrow, intense streams. The REFLECTION, or ECHO, of these sounds supplies information regarding the nature and location of objects in the environment. When an emission of varying frequency is used, such as with bats, the echoes, travelling varying distances to the ear, are heard as different frequencies in each ear, thus supplying directional information.
The difference in SOUND PRESSURE LEVEL between the saturation or overload level and the BACKGROUND NOISE level of an acoustic or electroacoustic system, measured in DECIBELs. This RANGE may be expressed as a SIGNAL-TO-NOISE RATIO for maximum output.
If a sound is a complex of many TONEs of various FREQUENCY, AMPLITUDE and PHASE, repeating together in a basic CYCLE of definite frequency, the fundamental is the lowest frequency of this complex and corresponds to the unique PITCH heard in such a COMPLEX TONE.
When a system with a natural vibrating FREQUENCY is stimulated by an outside force of the same frequency, the system can be set in a motion called VIBRATION. As the frequency of the stimulus closely approaches that of the system, OSCILLATION occurs, which reaches a maximum AMPLITUDE at the natural resonant frequency.