Mathews Journal of Otolaryngology

Previous Issues Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2024

Problems with Bekesy's Traveling Wave Theory

Myjkowski Jan*

Otolaryngology Clinic in Mielec, Poland

*Corresponding author: Jan Myjkowski, Otolaryngology Clinic in Mielec, Poland, Tel: 48-782449179, Email: [email protected].

Received Date: March 06, 2023

Published Date: April 16, 2023

Citation: Myjkowski J. (2024). Problems with Bekesy's Traveling Wave Theory. Mathews J Otolaryngol. 3(1):07.

Copyrights: : Myjkowski J. © (2024).


The theory of hearing under the name of traveling wave theory was announced in 1928 by Georg Bekesy, a 29-year-old engineer from Budapest. In 1961, it was awarded the Nobel Prize [1]. It has been revised and supplemented many times. The progress of science over the century has been much faster than the evolution of this theory. Many years of analysis and consideration of the logic of what is assumed to be a mechanistic theory of hearing indicate the need for a new discussion on a seemingly already closed issue. New studies and experiments not previously known have emerged [2]. Processes at the molecular and electron levels are coming to the fore [3]. Less important is the mechanics and hydrodynamics, which so far was the center stage. Some fundamental assumptions of the theory need to be verified. In effect of the analysis of countless works originating from numerous specialties and consultations with specialists in many fields of science, a picture of hearing has emerged that is significantly different from that presented in textbooks and publications related to hearing. For 20 years now, there have been voices of criticism of the current philosophical system of our hearing [4]. Today, despite the censorship of orthodox reviewers, increasingly more is heard about the frailty of the traveling wave theory. But it is still impossible to think about the possibility of making a mistake in the assumptions of the theory of hearing almost 100 years ago. Thanks to advances in science, this is becoming more and more apparent. A consequence of this is the need to introduce new information related to hearing theory into textbooks. This is met with some significant resistance from potent decision makers, accustomed to the existing state of affairs, despite contradictions with current knowledge and the logic of Nature. There have been signals about the problems of the traveling wave theory for a long time, but they are certainly too weak because they do not stimulate even the slightest discussion on this topic. It seems to be a forbidden topic; it is forbidden to challenge a Nobel Prize-winning theory. As evidence pointing to the need for discussions and analysis, I present some of the most important issues related to hearing theory.

Keywords: Sound Wave, Basilar Membrane, Natural Vibrations, Resonance.

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