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College of the Sciences

A room where sound goes to die — and scientists go to study

Andy Piacsek swings open a bank vault-style door on what looks like a chamber of horrors.

Spiky wedges sprout from the walls and ceiling. Piacsek, a physics professor at Central Washington University, stands on the only flat surface: a metal grating suspended above claw-like serrations thrusting up from the floor.

Injuries are inflicted here, Piacsek confirms — but only to the occupants’ musical sensibilities.

“It hurts my ears,” says Megumi Taylor, a flute player and student who joined Piacsek in the chamber on a recent afternoon. “I don’t like the way it sounds in here.”

Read more of this story in the Seattle Times.

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