This post has been featured on a 1000notes.com blog.
0 notes, June 4, 2013
Aerogel, also know as frozen smoke, is the world’s lowest density solid, clocking in at 96% air. If you hold a small piece in your hand, it’s practically impossible to either see or feel, but if you poke it, it’s like styrofoam. It supports up to 4,000 times its own weight and can withstand a direct blast from two pounds of dynamite. It’s also the best insulator in existence.
- The call of a white beaked dolphin.
- The song of a humpback whale.
- The sound of crickets chirping.
- The song of a Northern Cardinal forms a looping vortex of yellow and purple.
- The baritone song of the Northern minke whale.
Sounds like these – being sounds – are obviously usually heard, not seen; but the notes and tones seen here have been converted into a visual medium by Mark Fischer, a computer programmer and expert in marine acoustics, using a tool known as a wavelet transform.
Historically, wavelet transforms have been used to convert time-series data like acoustic pressure signals (some of them at frequencies outside the range of human hearing) into more analyzable, and therefore useful, forms. Recently, they’ve been used to this end in research surrounding whale communication and the calls of birds and insects.
Often these audible → visible conversions result in a black and white image. Here, they’re beautifully color-coded. Violets correspond to high frequencies, greens and blues to medium ones. Low frequencies are depicted in red.
See more of Fischer’s work on his website.