10 -12 W is normally the lowest sound power possible to hear and this value is normally used as the reference power in sound power calculations.
The sound power in decibel from a source with the lowest sound hearable can be calculated as
L = 10 log ( (10 -12 W ) / (10 -12 W ))
= 0 dB
100 W is almost the highest sound power possible to hear. The sound power in decibel from a source with the highest possible to hear sound power can be calculated as
L = 10 log ( (100 W) / (10 -12 W ))
= 140 dB
A fan creates 1 W of sound power. The noise level from the fan in decibel can be calculated as
L = 10 log ((1 W) / (10 -12 W ))
= 120 dB
The difference in decibel between sound intensity 10 -8 W/m 2 and sound intensity 10 -4 W/m 2 ( 10000 units) can be calculated as
ΔL = 10 log ((10 -4 W/m 2) / (10 -12 W/m 2)) - 10 log ((10 -8 W/m 2) / (10 -12 W/m 2))
= 40 dB
Increasing the sound intensity by a factor of
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