Exploring the Relationship between Light and Sound: A Physics Perspective

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In summary, sounds tend to be louder at night than during the day due to a reduction in ambient noise from traffic, people, and other sources. This can create a perception that sound is louder at night, but it is not necessarily true. Additionally, there are some situations where sound waves can be affected by factors such as air density, causing variations in loudness. Further research is needed to fully understand the effects of ambient noise and other factors on sound perception.
  • #1

Zed the Conqueror

Why are sounds louder at night than during the day?
 
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  • #2
Zed the Conqueror said:
Why are sounds louder at night than during the day?
Welcome to the PF.

When you put your question (copy-paste) into Google, what kind of things do you find out? :smile:
 
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  • #3
Are they?
 
  • #4
I can think of one situation where it is true, and I'm hoping that the OP can use Google-foo to find it... :smile:
 
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I don’t have google as my cellphone is restricted, but I’d guess it’s not affected. I haven’t taken a light course on physics yet. Will be my next course, light seems to be affected by gravity and I know water changes it’s speed and direction. But I’d imagine sound is too light of a medium to make any measure able affect. I’m other words I have no idea
 
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  • #6
theb2 said:
But I’d imagine sound is too light of a medium to make any measure able affect.
Interesting. So you think sound is a medium... if so, can you tell me where I can buy a couple of boxes of sound?
Sound is not a medium. :wink:
 
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  • #7
Sounds give the perception to be louder during the night because there tends to be less noise pollution than during the day. But it's just a perception.

Edit: Actually ignore my post. You got me thinking. Now I wonder whether sound waves interfere other mechanical waves, effectively reducing loudness. If that were to be the case, I believe some waves could reach your eardrums with less energy during the day and with more during the night (due to noise interference on the waves during the day), given that the source employs the same initial energy for the sound in both situations. Hmmmmm...
 
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  • #8
Zed the Conqueror said:
Why are sounds louder at night than during the day?
berkeman said:
I can think of one situation where it is true, and I'm hoping that the OP can use Google-foo to find it... :smile:
Well, since the OP has not been back in a couple of weeks, here is the effect that I had in mind. I've definitely experienced this, and it's a bit spooky...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inversion_(meteorology) -- Inversions can happen at night, and make sound reflect off the inversion layer and travel farther... :smile:
 
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  • #9
berkeman said:
Well, since the OP has not been back in a couple of weeks, here is the effect that I had in mind. I've definitely experienced this, and it's a bit spooky...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inversion_(meteorology) -- Inversions can happen at night, and make sound reflect off the inversion layer and travel farther... :smile:
Learn something new every day. Thanks @berkeman.
 
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  • #10
Zed the Conqueror said:
Why are sounds louder at night than during the day?
Isn't this because sound is affected by the density of air? I mean during the day the air heats up causes the density to get lower, which might cause the loudness of sound to alter from the cold denser air during the night?

I am kind of not sure about this either though.
 
  • #11
Rho_pho said:
Isn't this because sound is affected by the density of air? I mean during the day the air heats up causes the density to get lower, which might cause the loudness of sound to alter from the cold denser air during the night?

I am kind of not sure about this either though.
Read the Spoiler in Post #8 above... :smile:
 
  • #12
Zed the Conqueror said:
Why are sounds louder at night than during the day?

The ambient noise from traffic, people, and other sources is reduced at night.
 
  • #13
theb2 said:
I don’t have google as my cellphone is restricted, but I’d guess it’s not affected. I haven’t taken a light course on physics yet. Will be my next course, light seems to be affected by gravity and I know water changes it’s speed and direction. But I’d imagine sound is too light of a medium to make any measure able affect. I’m other words I have no idea
Please Let me know what you discover in your next course
 

1. How does light affect sound?

Light and sound are both forms of energy, but they travel through different mediums. Light travels through electromagnetic waves, while sound travels through mechanical waves. Therefore, light does not directly affect sound.

2. Can light change the speed of sound?

No, light cannot change the speed of sound. The speed of sound is determined by the density and elasticity of the medium it travels through, while the speed of light is determined by the properties of the medium it travels through.

3. Does light affect the pitch of sound?

No, light does not affect the pitch of sound. Pitch is determined by the frequency of sound waves, which is not affected by light.

4. Can light make sound louder or softer?

No, light does not directly affect the volume of sound. However, light can indirectly affect the perceived loudness of sound if it causes changes in temperature or air pressure in the medium through which sound travels.

5. Is there a relationship between light and sound?

While light and sound are both forms of energy, there is no direct relationship between them. However, they can both be impacted by environmental factors such as temperature and air pressure.

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