Only available on StudyMode
  • Topic: Sound, Wave, Waves
  • Pages : 3 (971 words )
  • Download(s) : 633
  • Published : January 11, 2011
Open Document
Text Preview

Sound is a mechanical wave an oscillation of pressure transmitted through a solid, liquid, or gas, composed of frequencies within the range of hearing and of a level sufficiently strong to be heard, or the sensation stimulated in organs of hearing by such vibrations.

Sound is a sequence of waves of pressure which propagates through compressible media such as air or water. (Sound can propagate through solids as well, but there are additional modes of propagation). During their propagation, waves can be reflected, refracted, or attenuated by the medium.

Sources of sound

Sound can travel through any medium
The mechanical vibrations that can be interpreted as sound are able to travel through all forms of matter: gases, liquids, solids, and plasmas. The matter that supports the sound is called the medium. Sound cannot travel through a vacuum.

The behavior of sound propagation is generally affected by three things: * A relationship between density and pressure. This relationship, affected by temperature, determines the speed of sound within the medium. * The propagation is also affected by the motion of the medium itself. For example, sound moving through wind. Independent of the motion of sound through the medium, if the medium is moving, the sound is further transported. * The viscosity of the medium also affects the motion of sound waves. It determines the rate at which sound is attenuated. For many media, such as air or water, attenuation due to viscosity is negligible. However, when sound is moving through a medium which does not have constant physical properties, it is refracted (either dispersed or focused).

For humans, hearing is normally limited to frequencies between about 20 Hz and 20,000 Hz (20 kHz), although these limits are not definite. The upper limit generally decreases with age. Other species have a different range of hearing. For example, dogs...
tracking img