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Bulk Modulus and the speed of sound

  1. Oct 10, 2011 #1
    Why is it that materials with a higher bulk modulus value allow for sound waves to propagate through them faster? A material with a high bulk modulus requires a relative greater increase in pressure to contract by the same volume as a material with a lower bulk modulus, and as such sound waves are able to propagate through such a medium faster. Why?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 15, 2011 #2
    If the material requires more pressure to contract, that means it's fighting the contraction harder. So when a pressure (sound) wave passes through, the material hates being contracted and pushes the wave through, making it pass faster.
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