# Sound exposure

Sound measurements
Characteristic
Symbols
Sound pressure  p, SPL
Particle velocity  v, SVL
Particle displacement  δ
Sound intensity  I, SIL
Sound power  P, SWL
Sound energy  W
Sound energy density  w
Sound exposure  E, SEL
Acoustic impedance  Z
Speed of sound  c
Audio frequency  AF
Transmission loss  TL

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 where

• 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

For other uses, see Sound 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 where

• 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 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.

1. "Letter symbols to be used in electrical technology – Part 3: Logarithmic and related quantities, and their units", IEC 60027-3 Ed. 3.0, International Electrotechnical Commission, 19 July 2002.
2. Ross Roeser, Michael Valente, Audiology: Diagnosis (Thieme 2007), p. 240.
3. Thompson, A. and Taylor, B. N. sec 8.7, "Logarithmic quantities and units: level, neper, bel", Guide for the Use of the International System of Units (SI) 2008 Edition, NIST Special Publication 811, 2nd printing (November 2008), SP811 PDF