Oct 4, 2010

The Walls of Jericho

Jad and Robert pit physics against a bible story with this simple question: could a team of trumpeters really bring down the walls of Jericho?

Sure, sound can be a powerful - an alarm clock can get you out of bed and headed for the shower, a pop song can send you back to Junior Prom. But what about sound as a physical force? In the bible, the walls of Jericho fall to the sound of seven shofar players (shofars are basically trumpets made of rams' horns). In this podcast, Jad and Robert talk to engineer and sound expert David Lubman to find out how many shofars it would actually take to level a Bronze Age wall. To get a sense of the power of the shofar, we pay a visit to Cantor Daniel Pincus to hear him and his students blow some horns. Then, we talk to inventor Woody Norris for a modern approach to this biblical challenge.

Many thanks to the 2010 Shofar All-Stars who played for us: David Liebowitz, Daniela Drakhler, Miriam Frank, Adam Hametz-Berner, Rachel Kelk, Ed Kerson, Anna Levy, Richard Scheiner, and Robert Wine.

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