DW's Blog


by DW Green — December 20, 2017

A sound Riddle

Riddles are fun. Well, for me anyway! You know the old riddle: If a tree crashes in a forest and there’s nobody there to hear it, does it make a sound? Well, sound requires an eardrum and a nervous system behind the eardrum. We can say that when the tree falls it makes air vibrate, and if there is anyone around with an ear and an appropriate nervous system, there will be a sound, because sound is a relationship between motion and air and ears. If there’s nobody around, the tree falling will make a vibration, but won’t make any sound. In the same way, a star sends light out into space, but the space surrounding the star is dark unless an object—a planet floating by, for example—enters that space. But if there isn’t anything in that space to relate to the star, there won’t actually be any light there.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to All!

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