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Collision sound

  1. Mar 2, 2015 #1
    A soap bubble or a nuclear detonation emit a sound created by the sudden release of pressured air?
    Am I correct?

    How is the sound of a knock on the door, two billiard balls hitting each other, etc.
    How is the sound generated in their cases?

    Thank you.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 2, 2015 #2


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    All sound is generated by creating a pressure wave in the air. A nuclear blast is certainly a spectacular example of this, but the average everyday sound is created either by an object vibrating, which creates pressure waves at the same frequency as the object moves back and forth in the air, or by the sudden compression of air, like when your hands clap together.
  4. Mar 3, 2015 #3
    Thank you for your reply.

    Yes, vibrations, pockets of air that burst...
    My mistake for not having pursued the question with the original intentions, i.e., at what structural level is sound originated?
  5. Mar 3, 2015 #4


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    What do you mean by 'structural level'?
  6. Mar 3, 2015 #5
    The higher the level of absorption of the shock, the lower the sound intensity.
    Dense objects make strong sounds. But dense objects vibrate less.
    Where-from comes the sound in this case?
    By structural I mean the composition of matter: atomic, molecular...
  7. Mar 4, 2015 #6


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    While density matters, there are many other factors to consider, such as elasticity, hardness, stiffness, etc. I'm not an expert in this area, so I couldn't even begin to name the most important properties. In any case, the sound still comes from the vibration of the object.

    In the end you can trace everything down as far as the subatomic level, but that's rarely useful when discussing real-world objects composed of a trillion-trillion atoms or molecules.
  8. Mar 6, 2015 #7
    Thank you for your time.
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