Jo William Henry Bragg
The World of Sound
William Henry Bragg
The World of Sound consists of six lectures delivered before a juvenile audience at
the Royal Institution in 1919. The Royal Institution Christmas Lectures are a series of
lectures on a single topic, which have been held at the Royal Institution in London
each year since 1825, except several years during the Second World War. The
lectures present scientific subjects to a general audience in an informative and
entertaining manner. Michael Faraday initiated the first Christmas Lecture series in
1825, at a time when organised education for young people was scarce.
This series of lectures is still interesting for its basic explanation of sound and
hearing, and the history of the research into it. The last chapter, Sound in War, was
of course written at a time when submarines and aeroplanes were in their infancy.
Acoustic mirrors, used as early warning devices of approaching aircraft before the
invention of radar, are described, but the reader suspects that at the time of writing,
the new invention of ASDIC (the predecessor of Sonar) was still secret and so was
not mentioned in this lecture.
Read for LibriVox.org by Ruth Golding
Total running time 4:33:51
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Cover image: Gaststatten-Grammophon around 1910, courtesy Andreas Praefcke.
Cover designed by Availle.This design is in the public domain.