Acoustic Wave Spectrum

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Acoustic Wave Spectrum
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The Acoustic Wave Spectrum is a poster-size artist's edition of the first comprehensive acoustic wave chart. The 30x22 full color poster combines text and graphic symbols to represent the complete catalog of acoustic waves.

A slightly smaller acoustic wave chart has been included as a separate graphic companion to the audio disc Sound Unbound edited by Paul Miller aka D. J. Spooky, available at

Sound waves propagate in a variety of media, including gas, liquids, organic and inorganic solids, in plasmas and superconductors, and in interplanetary, interstellar, and intergalactic media. Sound waves range in frequency from billions of cycles per second to a single cycle within a period of years. Human hearing is only a small fraction of the frequency range of the full acoustic wave spectrum.

Various generic wave forms are graphically represented by the symbols in the Acoustic Wave Spectrum. These waves propagate in a variety of media at different speeds, and have different vibrational characteristics depending on their source. They include traveling waves, standing waves, internal waves, surface waves, trapped waves, thermal waves, shock waves, and plasma waves. In addition to being able to view a copy of the Acoustic Wave Spectrum on this page, there is an information booklet which accompanies the chart. This booklet describes sound waves, sound sources, and each of the generic waves that are represented on the chart.

(The full color poster-size artist's edition of the Acoustic Wave Spectrum is downloadable at no cost)

© John Holland Acoustic Wave Spectrum 1997
Graphic Symbols: Amy Robinson
American Sound Press U.S.A.