The Quietest Place on Earth - Orfield Labs - AudioJunkies
Welcome to the AudioJunkies.
AudioJunkies
..
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 12-18-2007, 10:37 AM   #1
 
Status: AJ Member
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 196



Default The Quietest Place on Earth - Orfield Labs



In a world where something is always happening, people are always moving, and equipment is always buzzing, most people don't know what silence really is. But in Minnesota, real silence can be found in a room. In fact, the anechoic chamber found at Orfield Laboratories Inc. is the Quietest Place on Earth, as awarded by the Guinness Book of World Records.

[more]


How does one achieve The Quietest Place on Earth? Start with a room within a room, within a room: the Orfield Labs six sided anechoic chamber is a small room floating in a pit on I-beams that are on top of springs. A five sided chamber of identical construction surrounds it on the edge of the pit. Both chambers are made of double wall steel-insulation-steel. The anechoic chamber was manufactured by Eckel, the largest anechoic chamber builder in the country.

Both steel chambers are held within a larger room that was built with solid one foot thick concrete walls and ceiling panels. The smaller room is filled with 3.3 feet thick fiberglass acoustic wedges. This approach led to the anechoic chamber found at Orfield Labs being measured by engineers on January 21st of 2004 at negative 9.4 dB (with A-weighting), thus earning it the title of Quietest Place on Earth. By comparison, the low threshold for human hearing is considered to be 0 dB.


Silence is a truly rare thing. All reverberation is removed? all sounds that aren't coming from your own body disappear. After a few moments in the anechoic chamber, you'll begin to feel a touch jumpy. Hearing your heart beat, your blood pulse, the sound of your own ear buzzing and your body functioning like you've never heard before has a tendency to be a bit unnerving. And in complete silence, you lose all sense of space and surroundings. The absence of reflected sound and reverberation makes "feeling out" the room impossible.

The anechoic chamber is federally certified by NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) under their NVLAP (National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program) This certification is the reason that Guinness accepted the claim and it is the only certified anechoic chamber (other than private corporate chambers) in the U.S.


Orfield Labs has a very interesting history beyond the anechoic chamber. They purchased Sound 80, a studio where Bob Dylan once recorded tracks for his comeback album "Blood On the Tracks". Sound 80 went on to become the first multi-track digital recording studio. Orfield Labs is also behind a radical concept called Architectural Dynamics: variable lighting, sound, and temperature that can simulate different moods in the workplace, ideally leading to improved worker efficiency and satisfaction. Orfield Labs has a strong background in acoustic research for a wide range of products, including motorcycles, dishwashers and artificial heart valves.

All this makes Orfield Labs one of the coolest places to stop by in the Minneapolis area, and definitely the quietest.


*Thanks to Steve Orfield of Orfield Labs for providing the information contained in this article.
Neil Middlemiss is offline  
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiTweet this Post!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 12-18-2007, 11:31 AM   #2
 
Status: AJ Member
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 206



Default

So negative dB are possible? This I must google.
Doodaddy is offline  
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiTweet this Post!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-18-2007, 02:34 PM   #3
 
Status: AJ Member
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 607



Default

Supposedly those chambers can even be painful to some people. Our ears aren't designed for that kind of environment.
Dave Kay is offline  
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiTweet this Post!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-18-2007, 02:41 PM   #4
 
Status: AJ Member
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 1,471



Default

I spoke with Steve Orfield on the phone and I could seriously talk with him for hours about what he does. Really nice guy and he's just full of extremely interesting information regarding audio.

He said they have an ongoing bet for a case of beer regarding the chamber. If someone can last 45 minutes in there by themselves with the lights off, then they get a case of beer. If I remember correctly no one has been able to make it past a half-hour yet.

Basically with such a lack of sound the body and mind start freaking out. Imagine your heart beat being the loudest thing in the room. He can go into much more detail than I, but I found that extremely interesting.
lukas is offline  
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiTweet this Post!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-18-2007, 06:31 PM   #5
 
Status: AJ Member
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 206



Default

I would like to give that a shot. Seems very intriguing.

They should be hired out for solitary confinement chambers. :P
Doodaddy is offline  
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiTweet this Post!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-18-2007, 06:49 PM   #6
 
Status: AJ Member
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 86



Default

Doodaddy, remember bels are measured on a logarithmic scale. It's not negative sound, it's just less than 1 (on an absolute linear scale).

-dB is =1
aCiD is offline  
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiTweet this Post!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-18-2007, 09:07 PM   #7
 
Status: AJ Member
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 206



Default

That I understood, but logic told me that an absence of sound would be 0dB. I wasn't thinking in terms of negative sound.
Doodaddy is offline  
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiTweet this Post!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-19-2007, 09:11 PM   #8
 
Status: AJ Member
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 4



Default

I think it would be easier if you thought of sound measurement in dBs as equivalent to temperature measurement in degrees. Especially Fahrenheit. 0 degrees Fahrenheit isn't the absolute lack of motion by molecules, -278F is. 0dB is absolute silence perceived by the human ear, as the article suggests.

Crazy stuff though... I'd love to give sitting in there a shot.
DonovanM is offline  
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiTweet this Post!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-28-2007, 08:15 AM   #9
 
Status: AJ Member
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 1



Default

sometimes i ponder if silence i.e. 0db is just a negative wave canceling out what you observe. meaning. that there is no absolute silence. just an opposite osolation at high. db which allows u to not perceive it. but its still there. intangible.
ydarg is offline  
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiTweet this Post!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-16-2008, 07:36 AM   #10
 
Status: AJ Member
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 1



Default

Its funny that you are saying people cant last 45 minutes in there. I read about studies that suggest that people diagnosed w/ schizophrenia may have problems turning raw data such as unperceived sound into information about the surrounding they are in.

I have been in quite rooms and it is a very weird out of body feeling while you are in the room. You do not sound the same. The person you are talking to does not sound the same. Also the complete lack of reflection makes it hard to even pinpoint sounds that are being created in the room.

I don't see how that room could make you run out of it after 45 minutes especially someone who has a strong will. But Im sure it would not be a fun experience.
givmedew is offline  
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiTweet this Post!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the AudioJunkies forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Friends Of AJ

Hi-End Music Player
Hi-End Music Player

Hot Topics

AJ looking for bloggers
If you are interested in writing articles for AJ, post up your...
Professional Series 20095
The Ultimate AutoCommand model 20095 is for customers who want only the...
Turntable Basics: A Beginner's Guide to...
[/URL] Mike Knapp over at Home Theater Talk just put up an excellent...

Our Partners

Site news

AJ looking for bloggers
If you are interested in writing articles for AJ, post up...
Important (and exciting) announcement for forum!
Hello everyone, Many of you know that for the last few...
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3
Links
Car Audio Install site
The perfect car audio installatipon website with ipod integration, mp3 navigation and aftermarket wholesale audio amplifier repair and trouble shooting subfooer enclosures for car, trucks and home theater gurus in the 12 volt industry online!
Car Stereo Forum
car stereo forum, automotive vbulletin, 12 volt, sub woofer, stereo troubleshooting, car audio, caraudio, audiophile, sound quality, car audio sq, SPL forum, wholesale car audio
Car Stereo Help
car stereo forum, moble audio, car stereo, wholesale car audio, Home theater, and big 12 volt, amplifier, with amp, subwoofer, sound quality annd many types of sound deadening for buy car audio, and sell automotive stereo systems for cars