• Question: Is it true that you can never hear total silence? If so why??

    Asked by cathkidston to Martin, Rob, Suzanne on 22 Mar 2012.
    • Photo: Suzanne McEndoo

      Suzanne McEndoo answered on 22 Mar 2012:

      Hmm, interesting question. Total silence would be a complete lack of sound vibrations. I imagine it would be like temperature, you can get very close but you can never reach absolute silence because there will always be some vibrations left.

      On a more practical note, you will always be able to hear things like the sounds of your own body. Even just your blood pumping. So to have total silence to hear, you’d have to be dead, then you couldn’t hear it.

    • Photo: Robert Thompson

      Robert Thompson answered on 22 Mar 2012:

      Interesting question, Like Suzanne says total silence just means there is no sound. So total silence means there is nothing to here.

      Practical note also good point, It is impossible to get complete silence as by being there your body will be making noises which you can hear.

      Another similar idea is if there is no light you can’t see anything.

    • Photo: Martin Zaltz Austwick

      Martin Zaltz Austwick answered on 22 Mar 2012:

      Even if there were no sound from your environment OR your body (!), the nerves that carry the signals probably have a bit of electrical noise. So if everything was quiet enough you could hear your own nerves.