The Anechoic Chamber

Imagine a place where there is absolutely no sound. You cannot imagine it, since it does not exist… Unless you are in an anechoic chamber (anechoic means “with no echo”). This latter consists in a completely insulated room, where there is no resonance, since the walls absorb all sound and sound-waves’ reflection. The first anechoic chamber was built in 1940 in New Jersey, but there are now several around the world. In South Minneapolis, USA, in the Orfiled Laboratories, there is a chamber which is 99.99% sound absorbent. While a normal conversation is at about 30 decibels and the human ear can hear as low as 0 decibels, the noise in this anechoic chamber has been measured and is about -9.4 decibels. This means that people who are inside that chamber are completely sound deprived, to the point that they can hear their organs functioning. However this is very disorientating, and most people are not capable of staying there for more than 45 minutes, while some even hallucinate. The chamber is mainly used for scientific purposes, to test machines, or as NASA, to test our next astronauts. Check it out!


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