Harris, Cyril M. Formerly, Department of Electrical Engineering, Columbia University, New York, New York.
Last reviewed:January 2020
- Reverberation time
- Mean free path
- Decay rate
- Reverberation-time formulas
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
After sound has been produced in, or enters, an enclosed space, it is reflected repeatedly by the boundaries of the enclosure, even after the source ceases to emit sound. This prolongation of sound after the original source has stopped is called reverberation. A certain amount of reverberation adds a pleasing characteristic to the acoustical qualities of a room. However, excessive reverberation can ruin the acoustical properties of an otherwise well-designed room. A typical record representing the sound-pressure level at a given point in a room plotted against time, after a sound source has been turned off, is given in the decay curve shown in Fig. 1. The rate of sound decay is not uniform but fluctuates about an average slope.
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