What is a sound wave

what is a sound wave

What is a Sound Wave?

a wave that is formed when a sound is made and that moves through the air and carries the sound to your ear See the full definition for sound wave in the English Language Learners Dictionary . Sep 21,  · A sound wave is the pattern of disturbance caused by the movement of energy traveling through a medium (such as air, water, or any other liquid or solid matter) as it propagates away from the source of the sound. The source is some object that causes a vibration, such as a ringing telephone, or a person's vocal chords.

A sound wave is a type of pressure wave caused by the vibration of an object in a conductive medium such as air. When the object vibrates, it sends out a what food makes red blood cells of waves which can be interpreted as sound.

For example, when someone hits a drum, it causes the membrane of the drum to vibrate, and the vibration is transmitted through the air, where it can reach the ear of a listener. Vibrations travel at different speeds through different media, but cannot travel through a vacuum. Aside from being used for communication, sound waves are employed to provide images of inaccessible objects and how to check my android device id, in oceanic surveys, and in geology and seismology.

Sound travels through gasses, liquids, and solids as longitudinal waves. This means that the compression of the medium is in the same direction as that in which the sound is traveling. In solids, and at the surfaces of liquids, vibration can also travel as transverse waves. In these, the compression is at right angles to the direction of motion. The speed at which sound travels depends on the density of the medium through which it is traveling. It travels more quickly through denser media, and is therefore faster in solids than in liquids, and faster in liquids than in gasses.

In familiar, earthly, conditions, the speed of sound wavee always enormously less than that of light, but in the super-dense material of a neutron star, it may come quite close to light speed. The difference in speeds through air is demonstrated by the delay between a flash of lightning and the sound of thunder for a distant observer: whaat light arrives almost instantaneously, but the sound takes a noticeable amount of time.

The speed of sound in air varies with pressure and temperature, with higher pressures and temperatures giving higher speeds. Sound can be described in terms of wavelengthfrequency and amplitude. The wavelength is defined as the distance it takes for a complete cycle to be completed. A complete cycle moves from peak to peak or trough to trough. Frequency is a term used to describe the number of complete cycles within a set period of time, so shorter wavelengths have higher how many stones is 105 kg. It is measured in hertz Hz wvae, with one hertz being one cycle per second, and kilohertz kHzwith one kHz being 1, Hz.

Humans can hear sounds ranging from 20 Hz to about 20 kHz, but vibrations can have much lower, or what is a sound wave, soumd. The hearing of many animals extends beyond the human range. Vibrations that are below the range of human hearing are called infrasoundwhile those above that range are known as ultrasound.

The pitch of a sound depends on the frequency, with higher pitches having higher frequencies. The amplitude is the height of the waves and describes the amount of energy carried. High amplitudes have higher volumes. Sound waves are subject to many of the phenomena associated with light waves.

For example, they can be reflected from surfaces, they can undergo diffraction around obstacles, and they can experience refraction when passing between two different media, such as air and water, all in a similar manner to light. Another shared phenomenon is interference. When wxve waves from two how to have a constructive argument sources meet, wage can reinforce one another where the peaks and troughs coincide, and cancel one another out where peak meets trough, creating an interference pattern, with loud whxt quiet areas.

Sound waves have many applications in science and medicine. Ultrasound imaging can be used to investigate medical problems and carry out important checks. One well-known application is an ultrasound scan, used to produce an image of an unborn child, in order to check on its health where an X-ray would not be safe. Sound pulses, known as sonar, can be used to map the ocean floor by precisely measuring the time taken for an echo to be received.

In seismology, the inner structure of the Earth can be investigated by observing the propagation of sound waves. Since transverse waves cannot travel through liquids, this technique can be used to map out areas of molten wavee under the surface. Typically, sound is generated by an explosion, and the vibrations are picked up at various distant points, having traveled through the Earth.

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a wiseGEEK researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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Sound is a wave that is produced by objects that are vibrating. It travels through a medium from one point, A, to another point, B. As is true of all types of waves, specific behaviors, properties, and characteristics apply to sound waves. Sound waves are longitudinal waves that travel through a medium like air or water. When we think about sound, we often think about how loud it is (amplitude, or intensity) and its . Feb 03,  · A sound wave is a type of pressure wave caused by the vibration of an object in a conductive medium such as air. When the object vibrates, it sends out a series of waves which can be interpreted as sound.

Have you ever taken time to consider how you are able to detect sounds? Specifically, have you ever thought about the manner in which sound travels from one person or object so that it can be detected by your own ears?

Sound Waves. Sound is a mechanical wave. The physics of waves helps to explain the process by which sound is produced, travels, and is received. Sound is a wave that is produced by objects that are vibrating.

It travels through a medium from one point, A, to another point, B. As is true of all types of waves, specific behaviors, properties, and characteristics apply to sound waves. Similar to the slinky wave described in the previous chapter, a sound wave carries a disturbance vibration from one location point to another.

For the most part the medium through which it travels is air, although sound waves can just as readily travel though water or metal materials. There must be a source of the wave, some type of vibrating object that is capable of setting into motion the entire chain of events for the disturbance. For sound waves to sound waves, an originating source might be a pair of vocal chords, a stereo speaker, or a tree falling in the forest.

A long-held philosophical discussion has surrounded the question, "If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it really make a sound?

Certainly the sound could travel because what is known as "particle interaction" allows the vibrating wave to be transported from one location to another. However, ultimately, the mechanical sound waves need a receiver in order to complete their journey. And although there may be a body present to receive the transmitted waves, because they are vibrating at such a high frequency they are virtually undetectable to the unaided ear.

Mechanical versus Electromagnetic. To differentiate mechanical waves and electromagnetic waves, we will first point out several major characteristics of electromagnetic waves. And, now to contrast the two, we will identify several primary traits of mechanical waves.

The second trait helps to explain why sound, a mechanical wave, does not transmit when sent through tunnels, underwater, and all other examples of vacuous structures. As we stated previously, sound is a mechanical wave.

It is created by a vibrating motion that travels through a conductive non-vacuous medium. Sound results from the longitudinal motion of the particles of the medium through which the mechanical sound wave travels. Should the sound wave move from left to right through air, a byproduct will be the displacement of air particles as the energy of the sound wave passes.

The motion of the particles exists in both parallel and non-parallel forms to the direction in which energy is being transported.

Hence, this is the trait that characterizes sound as a Longitudinal Wave. An example of the sound wave moving in a longitudinal direction is a vibrating tuning fork.

As the tines of the fork vibrate back and forth, they exert pressure upon adjacent air particles. Because of this phenomenon, sound is a combination of pressure variances.

Due to the longitudinal motion of the air particles, there are pockets where the air particles are pressed together compressions and other regions where the air particles are spread apart rarefactions, or rarifications.

The compressions are regions in which high air pressure has clustered condensation whereas rarefactions are regions comprised of low air pressure dilation. Measurement Methods. Waves can be measured in a range of different ways: by their amplitude, wavelength, frequency, speed, and, at times, their phase.

Amplitude is a metric method associated with hearing. It is commonly grouped with intensity, loudness, and or volume. The wavelength is easy enough to detect, you simply note, during one complete wave cycle, the distance a disturbance travels through the medium in one complete wave cycle. Once every wave cycle, a wave will repeat its pattern. For this reason, the wavelength is sometimes referred to as the length of the repeating pattern or the length of one complete cycle.

In the case of transverse waves, this length is commonly measured from one wave crest to the next adjacent wave crest, or from one wave trough to the next adjacent wave trough. However, because longitudinal waves do not have crests or troughs, their wavelengths must be measured in a different manner. Thus, because longitudinal waves are comprised of repeating patterns of compressions and rarefactions, their wavelengths can commonly be measured as the distance from one compression to the next compression, or the distance from one rarefaction to the next rarefaction.

Sometimes referred to as pressure waves, sound waves encompass repeating patterns of alternating high and low pressure regions moving through a medium. Typically, in a sound or pressure wave, these alternating fluctuations in pressure occur at regular, set times. If each fluctuation were to be plotted on a grid with pressure and time continuums, the final markings would indicate a sine curve, defined as random x plotted points supported by the consistency of y markings.

Lastly, the speed of sound depends upon the type of medium and its state. It is generally affected by two things: elasticity ease with which molecules move or degree to which molecules move away from their neutral position when disturbed and inertia the denser the air or medium, the more inertia the sound wave has. A sound wave is not a transverse wave with crests and troughs, but rather a longitudinal wave with compressions and rarefactions.

These regions of high pressure and low pressure, known respectively as compressions and rarefactions , are established as the result of the vibrations of the sound source.

Open Main Menu. Browse Courses My Classes. What Are Sound Waves? Interested in learning more? Why not take an online class in Physics? Sound waves can be measured according to several different paradigms: amplitude, wavelength, frequency, speed, and, at times, phase. Each of these is associated with certain characteristics, such as loudness and pitch with amplitude; rarefactions and compressions with frequency; distance with wavelength; and elasticity and inertia with speed.

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