Heroines of Acoustics

Not technically within the remit of Feminatronic but an interesting article all the same about sound and acoustics and female pioneers in this field. All relevant to me and as visitors will know, Feminatronic is fairly eclectic… I do suggest you read the comments as well.

The Sound Blog

In March, the Royal Society ran an “edit-a-thon”, to create and improve Wikipedia entries for female scientists and engineers. It got me thinking about who the past heroines of acoustics might be. But as I went through a list of historical figures, Fourier, Helmholtz, Lord Rayleigh, I found it difficult to think of a female example. Do you have any suggestions?

Although there is still an imbalance between the number of male and female acousticians today, at least I can think of some examples of women at the top of their profession, including the current President of the Institute of Acoustics (Prof Bridget Shield) and the President of the Royal Academy of Engineering, Prof Anne Dowling (who works in aeroacoustics).

Feeling embarrassed that I couldn’t think of one famous female acoustician from history, I thought I’d do some research, and found three examples.

Sophie Germain

Bowing Chladni Plate

Germain (1776-1831) was a French mathematician who studied plate vibrations. She…

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