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Do sound waves get bigger when they bounce off a wall?

  1. Feb 2, 2013 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    The questions states,
    "If you speak while standing in a corner with your face toward the wall, you will sometimes notice that your voice sounds unusually loud. Explain."


    3. The attempt at a solution
    Is this because the sound waves are bunched up when they bounce off the corner? Or is it the corner that causes the sound waves to intersect with each other and get larger by following the superposition principle?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 2, 2013 #2

    tiny-tim

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    Hi JazzyJones! :smile:

    I don't think it has anything to do with waves …

    isn't it just, where is the sound coming from (with or without the walls)?
     
  4. Feb 2, 2013 #3
    I don't understand what you're saying.
     
  5. Feb 2, 2013 #4

    haruspex

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    You can just stand close to a flat wall and hear your voice louder than usual simply because the echo is from an unusually short distance and with no soft furnishings to absorb it. Obviously, standing in a corner gives you two lots of close echo, so that's a possible answer. But from the qualification "you will sometimes notice", I suspect they want an answer which does involve the wave nature of sound. You mention intersections of waves. What happens when waves from different point sources intersect?
     
  6. Feb 2, 2013 #5

    wont the waves create a constructive interference if their peaks line up, generating a louder noise?
     
  7. Feb 2, 2013 #6

    haruspex

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    Yes, I think that's what they're after.
     
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