Crocker, Malcolm J. Department of Mechanical Engineering, Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama.
Ffowcs-Williams, John E. Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom.
Last reviewed:July 2020
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- Propagation of sound
- Pure tones
- Random noise
- Sound pressure level
- Sound power level and intensity
- Frequency analysis
- Human response to noise
- Hearing mechanism
- Hearing damage
- Masking and speech interference
- Sleep interference
- Work performance
- Community reaction
- Noise reduction methods
- Absorbing materials
- Vibration isolation
- Ear protectors
- Noise sources
- Surface transportation noise
- Aircraft noise
- Industrial noise
- Community site noise
- Noise at home
- Flow noise
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
Unwanted sound. Noise control is the process of obtaining an acceptable noise environment for people in different situations. These definitions and the words “unwanted” and “acceptable” suggest that criteria need to be established to determine when noise from different sources is unwanted and that these criteria could or should be used to decide on acceptable noise limits. Understanding noise and its control, then, requires a knowledge of the major sources of noise, sound propagation, human response to noise, and the physics of methods of controlling noise. The increase in noise levels from human activities in industrialized societies led to the term "noise pollution." Different governments have passed legislation and created regulations to control noise. Noise as an unwanted by-product of an industrialized society affects not only the operators of machines (Fig. 1) and vehicles, but also other occupants of buildings in which machines are installed, passengers of vehicles, and most importantly the communities in which machines, factories, and vehicles are operated. See also: Machine
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