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OK: The car stereo sends electrical signals to the speaker cones to make them vibrate in the pattern of "Space Oddity". But there is no air for the speaker cones to move.
So, is there a sound?
Is the car stereo "playing" Space Oddity, if there is no sound?
If there were an astronaut there, either in a very thin space suit or with some mechanical extender through the suit to his fingertips, so that he could touch and feel the vibration of the speaker cones with his fingertips: Would there then be a sound? Would the car stereo be "playing"?
Or, if the extender through the space suit goes not to his fingertips, but to his scull, so that he experiences the vibrations as if they were real sounds, are they then sounds even though no air at all is moving?
If it doesn't take moving air to call it a sound, does it still require the speaker cones? If you disconnect the speakers, letting the cables directly out in thin space, the voltage differnce between their tips represent an energy potential varying in the pattern of Space Oddity. Is that a sound? Or does "sound" require mechanical movements, even if it doesn't require air movements?
With the speakers, there is sound: place your space-helmeted head against the body of the car and you may be able to hear the cones moving as they vibrate the body of the car. (This may be very faint due to the shock insulating material that mounts the cone to the speaker body, but in space no one can hear you watch "Scream" so there isn't anything else to listen to).
Without them? No, no "sound" since it is defined as:
vibrations that travel through the air or another medium and can be heard when they reach a person's or animal's ear.
Bad command or file name. Bad, bad command! Sit! Stay! Staaaay...
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I guess we will soon make a definition that unambiguously determines whether the cat is dead or alive, too, and Schrödinger may relax, and terminate his cat extinction project Maybe we can do away with the entire quantum physics!
I've always the tree in the forest question rather anthropocentric.
There may not be a human there to hear the tree fall but surely the squirrels and the birds are going to know about it. Trees are very important to them and they probably pay more attention to these matters than we do.
As long ago as WW II they had microphones that did not work with air but were placed on the pilots throat to pick up vibrations. This was needed because their voices were not audible due to the engine noise.
So why shouldn't this transfer via contact not work in space ?
Sure it would work. But is it a sound? What does it take to make it a sound? if the speaker cone vibrates without anyone touching them, is that a sound? If you disconnect the speakers and touch the cable end with your tounge, feeling the vibrating electrical potential, does your tounge then feel a sound?
If a sound requires a mechanical vibration (but any mechanical vibration satisfies), how do you then label the sensation created by the sound? Your brain, your conciousness, does not vibrate. The mechanical vibration is converted to something else (electrical signals) long before they reach your conciousness. So your conciousness cannot hear a sound. What can it "hear"?