How would you like to stand in a room which is so quiet, so you hear your bones grind and the blood rush through your veins; you blink and you even hear the squelch of your eyes?
You can get there is you plan a visit to Microsoft’s HQ at Seattle. Microsoft has built what it calls, “the quietest place on earth” –in 2015 it set the official world record for silence when the background noise level inside was measured at -20.6 decibels. Human ear cannot hear anything beyond 0 decibel.
This is a specially built chamber, known as an anechoic chamber. This room is used for testing new equipments they are developing. If a jet goes by, the only noise in the room is a whisper. It has six concrete layers like a onion - each with walls up to 12 inches thick. This helps to cut the noise reaching the chamber by around 110 decibels. To top it all off, the room has no contact with the ground level at all – the chamber itself floats on top of 68 vibration damping springs mounted on its own separate foundation slab.
Objective of this room – watch out for tiny vibrations produced by capacitors on electronic circuit boards as current passes through them as the low hum could annoy customers; look at other components on computers that can make noises – from the power supply to the cooling fan and the sound from your display as you increase the backlighting. It is also used to tune the sound that different components should make.
An employee who works in this chamber says that though we all pine for quiet and silence, one cannot stay for too long in that room of deathly silence as we are simply no used to such quiet; its more eerie than meditative. They say, “When you open the door it is almost like a waterfall of sound hitting your ears.It is like stepping out into a different world. You hear things that you wouldn’t normally notice. It gives you a new perspective.”