Acoustical Analysis of Shouting Into the Wind

The physics of shouting into the wind are now slightly better plumbed.

Details emerge in the study “Effects of flow gradients on directional radiation of human voice,” Ville Pulkki [pictured here, performing the experiment], Timo Lähivaara, and Ilkka Huhtakallio, The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, vol. 143, no. 2, 2018, pp. 1173-1181. (Thanks to Lauri Savioja for bringing this to our attention.) The authors, at Aalto University and the University of Eastern Finland, report:

“In voice communication in windy outdoor conditions, complex velocity gradients appear in the flow field around the source, the receiver, and also in the atmosphere. It is commonly known that voice emanates stronger towards the downstream direction when compared with the upstream direction. In literature, the atmospheric effects are used to explain the stronger emanation in the downstream direction. This work shows that the wind also has an effect to the directivity of voice also favouring the downstream direction. The effect is addressed by measurements and simulations. Laboratory measurements are conducted by using a large pendulum with a loudspeaker mimicking the human head, whereas practical measurements utilizing the human voice are realized by placing a subject through the roof window of a moving car.”

This video shows the road work:

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