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Can conversion of medium occur in sound?

  1. Feb 11, 2012 #1
    If vibrating object produces sound in air and theres a solid object in front of it after some distance, will those sound waves(which were propagating in air before) start propagating within that same solid object or reflected or absorbed or etc.
    Please explain also.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 11, 2012 #2


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    Science Advisor

    It depends on the nature of the material (don't ask me further - you need to discuss this with a sound engineer). Soundproof rooms use material which absorbs the sound. Other material may reflect some and transmit some.
  4. Feb 11, 2012 #3
    All these things will happen, in general. Part of the wave will be reflected, part will propagate in the solid, being attenuated in the process. The relative importance of these phenomena depends of the solid and the sound frequency.
    A good parameter to look at is the acoustic impedance of the medium.
    A large impedance mismatch at the interface will result in strong reflection.
    The acoustic impedance of the medium is Z=d*v where d is density and v is the speed of sound in the medium.
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