Sound Definition and 143 Discussions

In physics, sound is a vibration that propagates as an acoustic wave, through a transmission medium such as a gas, liquid or solid.
In human physiology and psychology, sound is the reception of such waves and their perception by the brain. Only acoustic waves that have frequencies lying between about 20 Hz and 20 kHz, the audio frequency range, elicit an auditory percept in humans. In air at atmospheric pressure, these represent sound waves with wavelengths of 17 meters (56 ft) to 1.7 centimetres (0.67 in). Sound waves above 20 kHz are known as ultrasound and are not audible to humans. Sound waves below 20 Hz are known as infrasound. Different animal species have varying hearing ranges.

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  1. M

    I Can ground albedo near a highway refract noise upward?

    I live near some highways that are roughly "a couple of miles" away. On some blessed days they are inaudible, and on other days they roar with a low frequency sound that penetrates into every corner of the basement. (If frequency matters, it would be most preferable to refract sound at 20Hz...
  2. K

    I Help Designing a Resonance Box for Tuning Forks

    I got these tuning forks from someone. However, I do not have the resonant box for amplification of the sound. I decided to get it made so that I can experience the fundamental frequency (and other harmonics) more clearly. I am planning to provide this design. In summary, the box would be...
  3. A

    B Simple Acoustics Question -- Which neighbor hears the other better?

    There are two blocks of apartments separated by a narrow alleyway. Person 1 is in the middle of the room in Apartment 1 (first floor if you are in the UK and second floor if you are in the USA!) and Person 2 is on the ground outdoors in the alleyway. If both people speak at the same volume...
  4. C

    Resultant Frequency and Wavelength of Interfering Sound Waves

    ##-w1## and ##-w2## are to shift the cosine graph to the right, and ##\frac{2pi}{\lambda}## is to stretch the graph. But I can't seem to draw an appropriate ##y1+y2## graph (quite irregular) and I struggle to find the resultant frequency and wavelength. Also, why is there angular frequency in a...
  5. NEWBIE1212

    I Sound between two rooms - closing which door affects the sound most?

    Imagine you have two identical rooms opposite each other with some space in between. (Ie two rooms across from the passage or two rooms leading off of another room). Sound is being emitted from one room only. Would closing the door in the room where the sound is being emitted from or would...
  6. Pereskia

    Surprising sound frequency from a bottle

    Two of my pupils in secondary high school is doing a project on the sound generated by striking glass bottles drumsticks. They fill the bottle partially with water and strike the bottle with a drumstick and record the sound. Preliminary results: As long as the water level is in the cylindrical...
  7. C

    Max velocity of a vibrating loud speaker membrane given sound intensity

    My attempt: p and T allows us to calculate ##Z=402 \frac{kg}{sm^2}## using ## Z=p*\sqrt(\frac{\gamma*M}{R*T})## . The sound intensity level at 10 meters allows us to calculate the intensity at 10 meters to be I=10``````^{-7} W/m^2 using ##50 = 10*log(I/I_0)##. Then, using the formula...
  8. Vivek98phyboy

    Contradiction in Phase of reflected sound

    While studying the fundamentals of sound waves in organ pipe, I noted that the fact about phase of reflected waves is contradicting while referring multiple sources This book of mine describes the reflection from a rigid surface/closed end to be in phase Whereas this one describes the...
  9. P

    Frequency of sound received by an observer

    My thought process was this, They are asking us to find the frequency of sound received by observer when the source reaches at origin. According to me when the source reaches origin there would be no component of source's velocity in the direction of observer, hence vs=0 vo=0 since the observer...
  10. pasomatt

    Assistance with Sound Wave Reduction/Amplification Experiment

    I was conducting an experiment with a tone generator (330 Hz) in boxes of different sizes with a glass plate placed on top of the box. There is a receiver about .55 meters away. Without any interference, the receiver registered -41 db +/- 1 db. When the tone generator is placed in the box and...
  11. P

    Stopping an 80 Hz wave

    My neighbor has two AC condensers are driving me insane. I took measurements of the units, and they were between 33.5db - 47.9db at 80HZ. About 3 feet away is a cinderblock privacy fence between us. It is about 10 feet tall. His home is on an elevation about 4 feet higher than mine (so the...
  12. arm27

    Does the whispering gallery phenomenon work in half a dome rather than a full one?

    I wanted to know what are the ways I can have someone speak normally and the other person in another section hear the sound? (there's no closed rooms but there are mirror partitions occasionally) So one of the things I thought of was using the whispering gallery phenomenon. To save space and...
  13. M

    Formula for calculating wavelength of sound waves in interference?

    The values calculated was nowhere near the theoretical values, though I guessed they won't be as the results recorded was incredibly inaccurate. My teacher acknowledged the fact the final values won't be close to the theoretical ones but also said that my formula was wrong, that it works to find...
  14. danieluyter

    Guitar effect soundwave

    I built a guitar (fuzz) effect, and analysed the sine wave from a tone generator through an oscilloscope. Wondering what the wave means and how it got to be the way it is. I will attach a picture of the oscilloscope screen + the circuit I used for the Fuzz effect. My question is what the cause...
  15. D

    Maths for Sound passing through different mediums

    What is the mathematics involved with calculating the energy lost from sound as it passes through different mediums? If I started off with a 70dB(A) sound wave, and after 0.5m it passed through 10mm of mild steel - what would be the sound level (in dB) 1m away from the steel plate? To clarify...
  16. DuckAmuck

    Inelastic Collision Question

    In collisions that are inelastic or partially elastic, how can we predict how much of the energy lost to the surroundings becomes heat, and how much becomes sound? What determines that fraction?
  17. K

    Waves: Calculate the sound intensity from two speakers

    Two similar speakers are connected to a stereo system that emits a signal of frequency 𝑓. However, the signal to speaker B is inverted so that positive voltage becomes negative (but with the same absolute value) and vice versa for negative voltages that become positive. A sound intensity meter...
  18. KiwiJosh

    Wavelength to Frequency Relationship in Musical Notes

    Hi people, So I've been digging into music theory and want to understand the basic reasons for how it is constructed. I've come across a particular relationship but I can't understand the reason it exists. A quick musical lesson: Imagine you've got a pure musical note: let's say C. From a low...
  19. A

    Energy Received Physics of Sound question

    I'm not sure! I'm really lost on this problem to be honest.
  20. A

    Sizing corner reflectors for frequencies in the audible range

    I'm contemplating extending the concept of corner reflectors to wavelengths in the audible spectrum, specifically road noise. I read somewhere that road noise is predominantly between 800 Hz and 1300 Hz. The corresponding wavelengths (at 20°C) are 16.9 inches and 10.4 inches. I read elsewhere...
  21. B

    Sound In Low Atmosphere

    There is no sound in space because there are not enough particles to transmit the pressure wave. But what about really high in the atmosphere where there is just a little air? Would sound move faster, slower or at the same speed? Would the intensity (aka volume) go up, down, or stay the same...
  22. P

    How to solve this sound problem (minimum sampling rate required)

    Summary: The problem: If one wants to make a digital record of sound such that no audible information is lost, what is the longest interval, Δt, between samples that could be used? ( it gives a hint that humans can hear sound waves in the frequency range 20 Hz to 20 kHz. It should be a very...
  23. J

    SNR for an underwater acoustic signal

    Hi, I'm trying to model the transmission loss and SNR of an acoustic signal underwater. I'm using this expression to modelize the transmitted signal: y = sqrt(P)*exp(1i*2*fr*pi*t)' where P is the transmission power in watts, fr is the transmission frequency and t is the acquisition time. The...
  24. Miles123K

    3rd harmonic of a column of air with one end enclosed

    Homework Statement The solution to this question says 450Hz. However, when I attempted to compute the frequency using the wave equation and find the normal mode solutions, I get 750Hz 2. Homework Equations I suspect that the solution could be wrong, is that the...
  25. F

    Audible sound range for beats

    Hi all, I recently came across an exercise observing that human cannot hear ultrasounds, but could hear the beat between two different ultrasounds, provided that its frequency falls in the audible range between 20 Hz and 20kHz. The problem gives one frequency and asks for the range of the other...
  26. Shea Thompson

    Help converting the NIST spectrogram of Calcium

    I am not a physics major and don't know even where to start trying to interpet this spectrogram from the NIST website of the element Calcium My goal is to find a way of converting this spectrogram into a tone or frequency...
  27. jybe

    Sound Interference Problem -- Observer moving between two speakers

    Homework Statement Two identical loudspeakers are driven in phase by the same amplifier at a frequency of 680 Hz. The speakers are 4.6 m apart. An observer stands 9 m away from one of the speakers as shown. The observer then starts moving directly towards the closest speaker. How far does the...
  28. G

    Stress, Strain, and Sound in a Projectile Steel Rod

    Homework Statement .[/B] For a certain type of steel, stress is always proportional to strain with Young's modulus 20 x 10^10 N/m^2. The steel has density 7.86 x 10^3 kg/m^3. A rod 80.0 cm long, made of this steel, is fired at 12.0 m/s straight at a very hard wall. a) The speed of a...
  29. D

    Why does a higher density slow down sound in air?

    Homework Statement Sorry, it's not an actual problem, it's just a statement I don't understand from my text - "The density of water vapor is less than that of dry air. Therefore, the higher the humidity (that is, the more water vapor there is in the air), the lower the density of the air. For...
  30. mktsgm

    Sound through walls

    How and why do we hear through the brick walls? Does the sound actually penetrate the walls?
  31. T

    How does the size between scatterers affect reflection?

    If a sound wave hits multiple scatterers spaced closer than the wavelength and moving fast but at different velocities how is the reflective beam is affected?
  32. C

    Triangulation of Sound

    I would like to be able to triangulate a sound's location based on the inputs of two robotic sensors. I know this involves trigonometry, but I am a little out of practice. I think the practice of triangulation also is useful for radio signals. I would like to create a triangulation algorithm...
  33. B

    Kill or incapacitate a pupa with sound?

    Elsewhere there are discussions about the feasibility of killing bugs with ultrasound. All of those discussions consider a situation, presumably, where the bugs are in the air. That seems a tricky problem, but perhaps not the one I wish to discuss. The Problem: So in California we have this...
  34. SherLOCKed

    Increase in the frequency of sound in a glass of water?

    Suppose you have a glass of water, and you beat a spoon on the bottom layer of glass through the mouth of glass, repeated beatings in a regular fashion will cause in increased frequency of sound produced due to the spoon beating?What causes such increase in frequency?
  35. prakhargupta3301

    No sound in vacuum? So can I clap more?

    I was just wondering (Wondering!? Stop wasting our precious time!) about clapping my hands. *Claps* It's sound energy. A little energy is released as heat. Good. This means that I have used some energy from my body. In making those two energies. Right. <<Mentor note: rant removed>> So, I am in a...
  36. D

    How does sound intensity affect the current produced by a mic?

    I measure sound (dB) from a speaker at 0cm and 100cm using a diaphragm microphone. 0cm-100dB, 100cm-30dB diaphragm microphone cinsists of a diaphram, coil and a permanent magnet. the coil is attached to the diaphragm, when a sound wave hits the diaphragm it causes to move back and forth which...
  37. S

    Calculating frequency of the second harmonic

    Homework Statement The fundamental frequency of a violin string is 283 Hz. Calculate the frequency of the 2nd harmonic. Known: f = 283 Hz Homework Equations v = fλ f(n) = n*v/2L λ= L v(sound) = 343 m/s The Attempt at a Solution λ = 343/283 = 1.21 m f(2) = 2*343/2*1.21 = 283 Hz. I'm getting...
  38. S

    Question about the physics of sound

    Hello there! I have a couple of questions regarding the physics of sound (they may seem odd and concerning, but aren't for any malicious purposes, I promise, these questions just popped up in my head ) First, I'd like to understand how soundprofing works, the science behind it and how well can...
  39. J

    Motion of point when sound volume goes up

    Homework Statement A radio speaker produces sound when a membrane called a diaphragm vibrates, as shown above. A person turns up the volume on the radio. Which of the following aspects of the motion of a point on the diaphragm must increase? a) the max. displacement only b) the average...
  40. R

    Sound wave interference

    I collected this data by moving a sound level meter slowly through a total length of 0,75 meter between two speakers pointing towards each other. The wavelength of the sine waves was 0,343 meters and the frequency was 1000 Hz. The sound level meter measured the sound in dbA 20 times a second...
  41. D

    Instrument to measure the frequency of sound

    I need an instrument to measure the frequency of the sound of a vibrating violin string for a high school research essay. I tried using a Labquest and a vernier microphone to measure but it was way too imprecise. I need the instrument to very accurate in measuring Hz as the nature of my essay...
  42. B

    Measuring the speed of sound in an iron tube

    For physical experiment I have a project in which I have to measure the speed of sound in the air. 1. If I take an iron tube (inside is air) and a speaker, 2. put the speaker at the beginning of a tube, 3. speaker is connected to frequency generator (with which I can change frequencies)...
  43. Superfluid universe

    I How is this formula for the speed of sound derived?

    c² = (n/m) ∂²U/∂n² where U = vacuum energy density as a function of the quasiparticle density n = quasiparticle number density m = bare mass of quasiparticle Is there a book, article where this formula is explained? Thank you.
  44. Lukeblackhill

    Heat and Sound

    Morning! My question is this: If we consider a situation of mechanical collision, in the real world we shall observe certain loss of energy into heat or sound. Can we find mathematical equations to measure the amount of sound or heat produced using only mechanical variables, such as mass...
  45. K

    Pitch and amplitude of sound wave Vs its volume

    Hi. If I know the pitch and amplitude of a sound wave, will I be able to calculate its volume. I can understand volume of devices vary betwerb brands and other categories. For the sake of discussion, let's assume volume to be a consistent unit or if db is the right unit, let's take that.
  46. doglover9754

    How do sound waves work?

    So again, I’ve got this analytical question on my mind and it’s been bugging me for a couple weeks now. So my question is, how do sound waves work? I’m talking about if you put two radios facing each other playing different songs. What would happen? Is it if waves match then they just combine...
  47. M

    A Hypersonic sound speed?

    Has anyone encountered the term "hypersonic sound speed" in connection with fluctuations of thermodynamic quantities in condensed matter? How is hypersonic different than regular sound?
  48. L

    Taking a photograph of sound

    Is there any sensor or method that allows a 'photo' to be taken of sound from different places? Similar to an ultrasound that is used in the medical field, but can be used more like a camera. I know about Schlieren Imaging but I'm thinking more like a map of all the sounds at a moment, maybe...
  49. S

    Beat frequency question

    Homework Statement Homework Equations ##f_beat=f_1-f_2## The Attempt at a Solution Why are the two different answers? Is it because the first question is asking for how often it fluctuates, and the other is actually asking for the frequency of the sound? Why is the resultant tone the...
  50. S

    How many places of maximum loudness?

    Homework Statement the last problem on this page: Homework Equations ##v= \lambda f## The Attempt at a Solution I'm guessing I'm looking for the maximum amplitude in a overlapping wavefront diagram like this? ## v=343m/s \\f=512Hz \\343/512=\lambda=0.67m \\3/0.67=4.5m ## So 4.5 wavelengths...