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Microphone Month 5

Parabolic Reflector

A dish-shaped structure used to focus energy into a receiving device (or to focus energy from a transmitting device). For instance, in microphones, the reflector faces the sound source and the microphone is mounted backward, pointing toward the center of the parabola. Parabolic reflectors are used to capture sound in outdoor locations, such as at sports events and in wildlife recording. The relatively large dish is able to capture much more sound (and quieter sounds, from farther away) than the small microphone element would be able to pick up. A satellite receiving dish for television uses a similar principle to focus incoming electromagnetic waves.

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