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A Sound Education

Sound and Ocean Waves


“The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.”
William Arthur Ward

What do the U.S. Navy and Dynamix Productions have in common? Sound on film. Well shiver me timbers mate, if that doesn't make sense to you landlubbers, then come aboard and let me explain. In 1914, American physicist Theodore (Ted) Case started experimenting with modulating light waves to transmit and record sound. He got the idea from an 1880 invention by the venerated Alexander (Al) Graham Bell called the "photophone" that transmitted speech on a light wave 700 feet. Ted's first development was a light sensitive vacuum tube that the Navy used successfully in ship-to-ship signaling during and after World War I.