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Gyroscope & Sound in deep space

  1. Nov 9, 2003 #1
    Just a few questions I have been trying to find answers to.

    A) Will a gyroscope function in deep space with the same properties
    as on earth ?

    B) Does sound travel in deep space? if yes in what form of property
    will it travel? i.e. such as light being a carrier or?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 9, 2003 #2

    selfAdjoint

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    A) Yes a gyroscope works in both freefall and in a vacuum (special attention is needed to build joints, etc. that work in a valuum). Gyroscopes and instruments build on the gyroscope principle, are used to stabilize telescopes and navigational devices in orbit.

    B) No, sound is strictly a material wave. If two astro (or cosmo) nauts wished to speak, not on radio, they had to touch their helmets together, so the soulnd would travel through the contact. Sound ordinarily travels through the air, but it can also travel through water, metals, and so on. But not through a vacuum.

    They used to do an experiment in beginning physics classes, where an alarm clock would be put under a bell jar and the jar evacuated. Then you could see the alarm go off, but you couldn't hear it.
     
  4. Nov 9, 2003 #3
    Thank you for your reply, it will help tremendously.

    About sound, that is what I thought but I am a
    little confused. Didn't I just see on educational
    channel that sounds were being picked up from
    outer space? or the sounds the sun flares create?
     
  5. Nov 13, 2003 #4
    I think I can answer this one. Sound waves cannot propogate through a vaccum, however electromagnetic (EM) waves can. The most familiar EM waves are those in the visible spectrum (light), however EM waves with a lower frequency (longer wavelength) such as radio waves which cant be seen by the naked eye are detectable with the right equipment (radio telescopes, radio antenae). Many objects in space give off radio waves and these can be detected on earth. Some radio astronomers even speak of "listening" to the heavens, however these are not the same as audible sound waves. Hope that clears it up.

    Gabriel
     
  6. Nov 20, 2003 #5
    to Allday

    You have answered my question, I appreciate it.
    Just one more question, You mentioned EM waves
    in the lower frequency can. Are the lower frequency
    waves able to travel at the speed of light? I assume
    not but if this is true not being able to travel at the
    speed of light then what we hear by using the right
    equipment would lag behind the speed of light as an
    example: Seeing the sun flare first than picking up the
    sound of the flare later.
     
  7. Nov 20, 2003 #6

    selfAdjoint

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    All frequencies of EM radiation can travel at the speed of light in a vacuum. They have different behaviors when interacting with matter. Radio waves (low frequency/long wavelength) go through your house as if it were not there. Light waves (middle frequency) are stopped and scattered by matter - that;s how we see. And x-rays or gamma rays (high frequency-short wavelength) cannot be stopped by anything and tear through matter like bullets.

    But they all travel at the same speed when there is no matter in the way.
     
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