It is a given that Beaver Stadium gets loud during football games, but how loud can the Blue and White Faithful be when the opponent has the ball on third and short?
“We learned what the maximum levels down on the field level are, and that's about 110 decibels which is between a jackhammer and standing between the large speaker columns at a rock concert,” Andrew Barnard, a Doctoral Candidate in Penn State’s Acoustics Department and leader of the research team , said.
Most of the data comes from Penn State's 21-10 loss to Iowa last fall. The Penn State team set up about a dozen microphones throughout the stadium to collect their game day decibel numbers.
The research team found that the student section is the loudest part of Beaver Stadium, not just because of the 18 to 22 year olds screaming their heads off, but also one other factor.
“The two end zones have upper decks on them which act as sound reflectors. It's very much like a band shell, or a coral shell at a concert, and it projects that sound onto the field and it reverberates,” Barnard said.
Penn State is the only school in the United States that offers a graduate degree in acoustics, talk about a home field advantage.
”We measure sound, we simulate sound, we try to make things quieter, so this is very much part of what the graduate program in acoustics does,” Steve Hambric, a Acoustics Professor at PSU, said.
The team also recorded levels at a Virginia Tech home game in 2007.
Penn State fans can rest assured they are twice as loud, but are they the loudest in America?
“It's kind of a novel thing. Everyone likes to claim they have the loudest stadium, but no one makes the measurements. So, we'd like to claim we're the first ones do a comprehensive survey,” Barnard said.