Sound Waves

Topics: Sound, Wave, Frequency Pages: 2 (770 words) Published: March 15, 2007
sound waves

Sound is a series of compression waves that moves through air or other materials. These sound waves are created by the vibration of an object, like a radio loudspeaker. The waves are detected when they cause a detector to vibrate. Your eardrum vibrates from sound waves to allow you to sense them. Sound has the standard characteristics of any waveform. Sound is a waveform that travels through matter. Although it is commonly in air, sound will rapidly travel through many materials such as water and steel. Some closed maerials absorb much of the sound waves, preventing the waves from penetrating the material. The back and forth vibrtion of an object creates the compression waves of sound. The motons of a loudspeaker cone, drumhead and guitar string are good examples of vibration that cause compression wave. A sound wave will spread out after it leaves its source, decreasing its loudness. The loudnss decreases as the distance from the source. Also, if there is some absorption in the material, the loudness of the sound will decrease as it moves through the substance. When a sound wave strikes an object, it can cause the object to vibrate. This leads to the method to detect sound, which requires changing that vibration into some other type of signal. The main way to detect or sense sounds is through your ears. The sound waves vibrate your ear drum, which goes to the nner ear and is changed to nerve signls you can sense. You can also feel sounds.

A sound wave has characteristics just like any other type of wave, including amplitude, velocity, wavelength and frequency. The amplitude of a sound wave is its loudness. Since sound is a compression wave, its loudness or amplitude would correspond to how much the wave is compressed. The velocity of a sound wave is or close too 344 meters/second, 1130 feet/sec. or 770 miles per hour at room temperature of 20oC . The speed varies with the temperature of air, such that...
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