Apr
18
2007

Hi-fidelity sound, 350 B.C.

The amphitheater at Epidaurus has acoustics so good you can hear a pin drop, even when the seats are packed with 15,000 people: Photo by Randy Peters from flickr.com
The amphitheater at Epidaurus has acoustics so good you can hear a pin drop, even when the seats are packed with 15,000 people: Photo by Randy Peters from flickr.com

The ancient Greek amphitheater at Epidaurus has long been famous for its marvelous sound qualities. Audience members in the back row could hear every sound, even as soft as a match being struck.

Until recently, no one has unlocked the secrets of these perfect acoustics. The Greeks themselves thought it was the shape of the amphitheater. But other theaters built on the same model could not reproduce the sound quality of Epidaurus.

Now, researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have finally solved the problem. They found that the limestone seats work as a filter to dampen the sound of the crowd, while at the same time amplifying the sounds from the stage, . Other amphitheaters used the same design but different materials, and were never able to duplicate the results.

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

that is SO cool.

posted on Fri, 10/19/2007 - 2:50pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I wonder if this is why limestone caves are so quiet?

posted on Tue, 11/20/2007 - 2:17pm
SLC's picture
SLC says:

Wow that is a really cool picture to look at. So if their is so much sound would the limestone collapse or break?? That is a really nice limestone amphitheather place.

posted on Mon, 12/08/2008 - 1:15pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

The sound would have to be incredibly powerful, and tightly focused, to shatter stone. The amphitheater has survived over 2,300 years, so it's probably safe.

posted on Fri, 12/12/2008 - 1:56pm

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