Bits of Curiosity

Deep talk

I’ve been doing some cosmology and physics research, and I came across something called red-shift, which is how scientists know the universe is expanding (because the light from the beginning of the universe has redshifted into radio waves throughout space). As far as I gather, the increasing distance between two objects lengthens the waves (be it light or sound, etc.) traveling between them. This sounded similar to the Doppler effect, introduced to me by Sheldon when he dresses up as the Doppler effect on a Big Bang Theory Halloween episode (a costume I appreciated because one year I went as Schrödinger’s cat). For the case I’m considering, I’m addressing Doppler redshift, not cosmological redshift. From this Article I believe the difference is mainly the scale, with cosmological redshift being on a much larger scale and the shift being caused by the fluctuations of the fabric of spacetime itself. (I have a lot of research to do on relativity, special and general.)

So I was wondering, because the Doppler effect makes sirens seem lower pitched when they’re further away (the classic example), could you apply that to human voices? Could I stand really far away from you and morph my second soprano voice into that of a velvety bass? I realize that the further I stand from you, the harder it is for you to hear me, but what if you were to go to one of those buildings where the architecture allows you to whisper to someone on the other side of the room? Or one of those exhibits at science museums that little kids always seem to be inhabiting,   sitting in the dome like throne, spewing random words to their parents across the bustling museum? Would those in any way alter the waves themselves, as opposed to merely their direction? Why is it hard to hear things far away! Because the waves get lost in the space between the originator and receiver? Or do they shift and become too low to hear? How could I make myself sound like a manly man?

How is it that a little research lends itself to endless more questions? Looks like I’ll have to make a visit to the library when we get home, all in the efforts of sounding like Morgan Freeman.

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