Frequency of Sound and Light waves

  • Thread starter escalade17
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  • #1
Sorry for another dumb question. Thank you in advance.

What factors effect the frequency of sound and light waves. Light waves are effected by electromagnetic energy and given by (f=E/h) right? What about sound waves?

Also, to make sure, even though ultraviolet light has much more energy infrared light and hence a proportionally greater frequency and lower wavelength, they both travel at 3*10^8 in air. All light travels at 3*10^8 in air, right?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Simon Bridge
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Taken backwards
- the speed of light in a vacuum is a constant ... but, in a media, it can depend on the wavelength.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Refractive_index
The speed of light in air is very close to that in vacuum so we usually just pretend it's the same.

The energy carried by a photon in determined by the frequency and plancs constant ... not the energy of the light wave. You have to be careful about confusing different models - one is classical and the other quantum mechanical.

The "wave" of light is oscillations in the electro-magnetic field strength in space. The wave of sound is oscillations in the pressure of the air.
 
  • #3
got it. thank you.
 

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