Suvarna Garge (Editor)

Sound exposure

Updated on
Share on FacebookTweet on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Reddit
Characteristic  Symbols
Particle velocity  v, SVL
Sound intensity  I, SIL
Sound pressure  p, SPL
Particle displacement  δ
Sound power  P, SWL

Sound exposure is the integral, over time, of squared sound pressure. The SI unit of sound exposure is the pascal squared second (Pa2·s).


Mathematical definition

Sound exposure, denoted E, is defined by

E = t 0 t 1 p ( t ) 2 d t ,


  • the exposure is being calculated for the time interval between times t0 and t1;
  • p(t) is the sound pressure at time t, usually A-weighted for sound in air.
  • Sound exposure level

    Sound exposure level (SEL) or acoustic exposure level is a logarithmic measure of the sound exposure of a sound relative to a reference value.
    Sound exposure level, denoted LE and measured in dB, is defined by

    L E = 1 2 ln ( E E 0 )   N p = log 10 ( E E 0 )   B = 10 log 10 ( E E 0 )   d B ,


  • E is the sound exposure;
  • E0 is the reference sound exposure;
  • 1 Np = 1 is the neper;
  • 1 B = 1/2 ln 10 is the bel;
  • 1 dB = 1/20 ln 10 is the decibel.
  • The commonly used reference sound exposure in air is

    E 0 = 400   μ P a 2 s .

    The proper notations for sound exposure level using this reference are LW/(400 μPa2⋅s) or LW (re 400 μPa2⋅s), but the notations dB SEL, dB(SEL), dBSEL, or dBSEL are very common, even if they are not accepted by the SI.


    Sound exposure Wikipedia

    Similar Topics
    Shodo Girls
    Bai Yan
    Randolph Mantooth