1. n. [Geophysics]
The unit of measurement to describe or compare the intensity of acoustic or electrical signal, named for American inventor Alexander Graham Bell (1847 to 1922). Measurements are typically given in tenths of a bel, or decibels. The logarithm of the ratio of the sound or signal to a standard provides the decibel measurement. Sounds on the order of one decibel are barely audible to humans but can cause pain when on the order of 1012 decibels. The symbol for the unit is B, but dB is the standard unit.