Physics Sound Essay

The Physics of the Sound Wave and its Effects on the Human Ear

1341 Words6 Pages

The Physics of the Sound Wave and its Effects on the Human Ear

Could you imagine living in a world without sound? It would be enormously different from the world that we know. Our primary form of inter-human communication would be based on visual or tactile imagery. Our sense of perception would be changed. Telecommunication would be different. We would not have the pleasure of music or the soothing sounds of nature. Sound has had an immense impact on our world. This essay will explore the unseen world of sound waves and how humans perceive them.

Generally, people hear sound waves traveling through air. These waves cannot be seen, but are heard or felt via vibration. Sound waves originate from vibrating objects and travel in…show more content…

If the medium is a gas, speed may also vary based on its density. Sound travels at about 1500 m/s in water and up to 5000 m/s in solids.

Two factors, density and elasticity, cause the variances in the speed of sound through changeable mediums. The first factor is the density of a medium, which is referred to as its inertial property. “The greater the inertia (i.e., mass density) of individual particles of the medium, the less responsive they will be to the interactions between neighboring particles and the slower the wave3.” Sound always travels faster through less dense material. Due to its lower mass, helium conducts sound three times faster than the air we breathe. The second important factor is the elastic property of a medium. If the medium is highly elastic, like steel, there is small deformation of shape, resulting in faster speeds. Meanwhile, a flexible object like a rubber band deforms easily, causing the sound waves to pass through it slower. This general pattern is usually observed with elastic properties:Vsolids > Vliquids > Vgases, where V=331 m/s + (0.6 m/s/C)*T (V=speed, C=Celsius, T= temperature) The properties of sound waves will determine the different frequencies that they possess. The term frequency is defined as “the number of times a periodic motion repeats in a unit of time. It is equal to the inverse of the period3.” The frequency of a sound is expressed in a unit called a Hertz, where 1 Hertz= 1

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Essay on Acoustic Waves in Physics

682 Words3 Pages

Acoustic Waves in Physics

An acoustic wave can simply be described as a longitudinal wave. A longitudinal wave is a wave that vibrates and moves in the direction of its propagation. This means the medium is either in the same or opposite direction of the way the wave travels. Acoustic waves are a form of Mechanical longitudinal waves; these waves are otherwise known as compression waves or compressional waves. Compressional waves obviously produce compression, decompression, and rarefaction to travel. In Physics, the acoustic wave has an equation to describe the evolution of acoustic pressure and particle velocity as a function. The general equation is:

Acoustic waves have multiple equations, but this version is the…show more content…

Acoustic Waves in Physics

An acoustic wave can simply be described as a longitudinal wave. A longitudinal wave is a wave that vibrates and moves in the direction of its propagation. This means the medium is either in the same or opposite direction of the way the wave travels. Acoustic waves are a form of Mechanical longitudinal waves; these waves are otherwise known as compression waves or compressional waves. Compressional waves obviously produce compression, decompression, and rarefaction to travel. In Physics, the acoustic wave has an equation to describe the evolution of acoustic pressure and particle velocity as a function. The general equation is:

Acoustic waves have multiple equations, but this version is the simplified form. In a simplified acoustic wave equation there is only one spatial dimension. In other more complex equations there is a possibility of two or maybe even three dimensions. [5] The letter “p” in the general form equation pictured above is to show the acoustic pressure . The letter “c” represents the speed of sound. Both acoustic pressure and speed of sound are the key ingredients to describing the behavior of sound in matter.
A solution for this particular acoustic wave equation is:

“F” and “g” both show two twice-differentiable functions, and “c” again, is the speed of sound. [5]
After reading the first paragraphs you may be wondering why are acoustic waves so important in normal life or “why would I ever need this equation?’

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