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date: 25 January 2020

Rossing, Thomas D. locked

  • Murray Campbell
  •  and Clive Greated


(b Madison, SD, March 27, 1929). American physicist and acoustician. After studying at Luther College, Iowa (BA 1950), and Iowa State University (MS 1952, PhD 1954), he worked for the Sperry Rand Corporation. He was appointed professor of physics at St Olaf College, Minnesota, in 1957, then at Northern Illinois University in 1971. He has contributed greatly to the understanding of percussion instruments. Particularly noteworthy was his experimental demonstration of Chladni figures showing the vibrational modes of a kettledrum head (1982) and his work on bells (1984). His research with Johan Sundberg and colleagues in Stockholm revealed important features of the formant characteristics of the voice in solo and choral singing. He is best known as co-author of the influential The Physics of Musical Instruments (1991).

‘The Physics of Kettledrums’, Scientific American, no.247 (1982), 172–8 ed.: Acoustics of Bells (Stroudsburg, PA, 1984)...

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Journal of the Acoustical Society of America