The Outer Ear

1828 Words Apr 25th, 2016 8 Pages
One afternoon in the library, a college student was studying hard for his Hearing Science exam. He removed his earplugs when he overheard a loud conversation behind him. The sound waves traveled around the library and began to swirl around his head. The sound wave, named Sam, became amplified and reflected down towards the student’s left concha. The Outer Ear has many structures that help to guide sound waves into the External Auditory Canal. The concha is the deepest groove and funnels the sound wave down the “s” shaped ear canal. Sam was fascinated at how the Outer Ear was shaped in order to localize sounds and push them down to the External Acoustic Canal. As acoustic energy, Sam traveled down the canal observing all the earwax trapping foreign objects like bugs and dirt. He immediately noticed how his sound seemed louder as the External Acoustic Canal enhances sounds. The External Auditory Canal is a ¼ wavelength resonator. It is a tube open at one end, the opening to the external auditory canal, and closed at the other, the tympanic membrane. This resonator has the ability to boost sounds at a frequency of nearly 2800 Hz. This resonance feature increases pressure to help transform acoustic energy into mechanical energy. Disgusted by the buildup of earwax, Sam was relieved when he reached the osseous portion at the end of the External Auditory Canal, which was just a thin layer of skin. No hair or wax to be found. Sam was amazed at the monstrous Tympanic Membrane that…

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