Meet the Microsoft principal engineer Gopal Gopal. He happen to be in the quietest room in the world that is actually used for microphone and headphone testing.
“Hidden deep within Building 88 on the Microsoft campus you can find probably the quietest place in the world. Really — the company recently won the Guinness World Record for it.
While I was in town this week, I got to spend about five minutes in there with Gopal Gopal, principal engineer at Microsoft’s audio lab. And I thought I was going to lose my mind.”
“Microsoft built this completely silent room, called an “anechoic chamber,” to help it do all kinds of science — from building better speakers for its Surface tablets and laptops, to improving Skype call performance, without noise contamination from the outside world.
But Microsoft didn’t just want a quiet room…it wanted the quietest. Gopal tells me that the absolute quietest that anything on this planet can ever get is negative 23 decibels, since that’s the sound level made by air molecules bouncing off each other.”
The main anechoic chamber of Microsoft can go down to negative 20.3 decibels.
“Right at the edge of physics,” as Gopal put it.
“Once the door to the chamber is sealed, you immediately notice the difference: Your voice stops carrying, at all, because it’s not bouncing off the walls. All background noise totally fades out. Just talking normally felt like shouting into a pillow, as the noise barely traveled at all.”
This article was originally published on Business Insider.