16 thoughts on “Wolfram Alpha Fun (part 1)”

  1. The sound one is nonsense — self-contradictory, even. First it says that sound *is* the vibration, but then says it is not *recognized* as sound unless that vibration is heard. But things do not need to be recognized to exist in order to exist. If the sound *is* the vibration, then if the vibration exists, the sound does.

  2. No. You just qoute the very first part of the explanation of sound, which is not sufficient. Sound is something created inside the nerve system out of vibration. The *vibration* exists regardless of anyone listening. *Sound* is only the human brain’s interpretation of that vibrations.

  3. All the images are JPEG encoded which is good for photographs but not for text. Please remember to use PNG or GIF.

  4. It’s not that simple. All sound is vibration but not all vibrations is sound. Sound is a vibration that meets certain definitions, measurable definitions, hence, it’s possible to deduce if there been a sound without anybody hearing it.
    These two definition, as it is writen on wikipedia; “Sound is a mechanical wave that is an oscillation of pressure /…/ composed of frequencies within the range of hearing and of a level sufficiently strong to be heard, or the sensation stimulated in organs of hearing by such vibrations”
    Which one’s the right one is a mather of discussion.

  5. It’s true that there can be vibrations that *could* be considered sounds even if no perceptual event occurs to interpret that sound. However, there is nothing inherent about those vibrations that make them sounds. They do not become sounds until we ascribe some label to them (i.e. calling them sounds). Consider this analog. A ‘red’ ball is not, by nature, red. The ball exists, but there is nothing inherent about that ball that makes it red. The ball has certain characteristics that cause light waves to act in a certain manner. However, without the interpretation of the behavior of those waves, the ball is inherently ‘colorless.’ It’s not until we perceive the light waves that the ball becomes red. Evidence of this phenomenon can be seen with animals that do not perceive color. To them, the ball is a spherical object. To humans, however, it’s red because we interpret the perceptual stimulus and define it as ‘red.’

  6. I think a lot of people’s everyday interpretation of the word sound is air vibrations that someone could hear if they were there (to summarise hugely).
    If two people are in the wood, the tree doesn’t make two sounds – it makes one and both people *hear* it. Most people, I reckon, would associate the term “sound” with the waves that result from the tree falling, not with listener, who merely hears the sound or not.
    Similarly, if your kitchen clock makes ticking sounds, most people wouldn’t assume it stops making those ticking sounds if they put their fingers in their ears.
    So I think the bottom line is that the definition they use, above, for the term sound (the result of vibtations in a (human) ear) doesn’t mesh with most people’s common sense definition, hence the controversy.

  7. Try:
    Do you want to take over the world?
    Do you like google?
    Do you like me?
    Are you in love?
    …Where are you?
    How would you describe yourself?

  8. According to Quantum Physics, this is a perfectly rational explanation, since the subjective experience of “sound” requires an observer to quantify its existence. Thus, if there’s no observer, there is no sound.

  9. Actually, urmm, Kevin- you have hit epic fail(1= about sound, 2= about observation and reality.)
    And John is right about this one…roughly put…observation creates reality. Forget the sound- there is no tree and no forest too if you dont percieve it.

  10. You missed this one:
    1 thing ~~ 0.5 × number of things in Dr. Seuss’s The Cat in the Hat (2 things)

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