How Does The Human Ear Detect Sound?


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Sehar Suleman answered
The human ear consists of three parts, the outer ear that consists mainly of the ear lobe. The middle ear lies next. It consists of the ear drum and three bones. The inner ear is comprised of the oval windows, the auditory nerve, the cochlea tube and the semi-circular canals.

The ear lobe receives incoming sound waves and directs them along the canal (about 3cm) towards the ear drum, called the tympanic membrane. The compressions and rarefactions of the longitudinal sound waves cause the ear drum to vibrate. These vibrations are picked up by three bones in the middle ear. These bones act as a lever system for force and pressure amplifications of about 25 times at the oval window.

Vibrations at the oval window cause pressure waves to be formed in the fluid of the inner ear housing the cochlea tube. Inside the cochlea tube, the pressure waves are picked up by the sensory cells that in turn produce neural impulses that are carried by the auditory nerves to the brain. Hence sound is heard.

The length of the ear canal (as mentioned above) causes the human ear to be most sensitive to a sound of frequency of 3,000 Hz. The range of audibility of the human ear is between 20Hz to 20,000 Hz.

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