A copy of his presentation for reference while listening to this recording is available by clicking HERE.
Summary of Presentation:
Unusual battlefield acoustics have been noted for many centuries . On several occasions during the US Civil War, the propagation of outdoor sounds had a dramatic effect on the outcome of significant battles. Commanders who inadvertently placed themselves in an acoustic shadow risked letting victory slip away. Battles inaudible to generals only miles from the fighting were sometimes heard clearly more than a hundred miles away. Following a review of the physics behind acoustic shadows, Mr. Ross will examine its affect on several Civil War battles and the un-usual role it played in command decisions and ultimately the out-come of the war.
Charles Ross is Professor of Physics and Dean of the Cook-Cole College of Arts and Sciences at Longwood University in Farmville. His study of science and technology in the US Civil War has led to appearances on The History Channel, PBS, the National Geographic Channel and National Public Radio and his work has been featured US News and World Report, Science, Discover and many other media outlets. He has written three books on the subject: Trial by Fire: Science, Technology and the Civil War; Civil War Acoustic Shadows; Never for Want of Powder: The Confederate Powder Works. In 1999, he was retained as a consultant by the FBI and LAPD in the homicide case of a LAPD officer that involved unusual acoustics. He has two children and lives with his wife in Farmville, Virginia.
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