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March 1987

Acoustic Impedance Transformation

Author Affiliations

Fridley, Minn

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1987;113(3):329. doi:10.1001/archotol.1987.01860030105021

To the Editor.—I read with interest Dr Goode's1 commentary on the potential for otosurgery to transform "tin" ears into "gold" ears. The author asserts that our conventional beliefs about the middle ear performing acoustic impedance transformation between the atmosphere and the inner ear may be incorrect. A statement is made that the external ear, rather than the middle ear, is performing a major part of the impedance matching in the 500-Hz to 4000-Hz range. I would like to point out, however, as an otolaryngology resident with a background in electrical engineering, that a mechanical/acoustical system such as the external ear is quite incapable of impedance transformation, at any frequency. Acoustic impedance transformation occurs when low-force/high-amplitude vibrations are transformed into high-force/low-amplitude vibrations, or vice versa. An acoustic component such as the external ear cannot perform this transformation. The middle ear, however, performs these transformations by mechanisms that Dr

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