If light causes radiation pressure, what about sound waves?

In summary, radiation pressure is a force that is exerted on objects when particles of energy, such as photons or phonons, collide with them. Light and sound waves both cause radiation pressure, but they differ in the type of particles that carry the pressure. While radiation pressure from sound waves can be utilized in various applications, it is not harmful to humans in normal circumstances. However, extremely high intensity sound waves can cause damage due to other factors, not radiation pressure itself.
  • #1
Buzzworks
69
1
What if I put a light object like a small paper boat in front of a large subwoofer and a loud sine wave was played, will that object move away from the sub woofer?

Will the paper boat move away too if the above experiment was done in microgravity? The purpose of microgravity experiment is to eliminate the ground friction factor because the paper boat will be floating freely in midair.

Does different wave forms produce different effects?
 
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  • #2
Sound waves do not carry momentum, no.
 
  • #3
Thanks for the answer Russ!
 

Related to If light causes radiation pressure, what about sound waves?

1. How does light cause radiation pressure?

Light is made up of particles called photons. When these photons collide with an object, they transfer their momentum to the object, causing it to experience a force in the opposite direction. This force is known as radiation pressure.

2. Does sound also cause radiation pressure?

Yes, sound waves can also cause radiation pressure. Similar to light, sound waves are made up of particles called phonons. When these phonons collide with an object, they transfer their momentum and cause the object to experience a force in the opposite direction.

3. How does radiation pressure from sound waves differ from that of light?

The main difference is in the type of particles that carry the pressure. Light waves are carried by photons, which have no mass, while sound waves are carried by phonons, which have a very small mass. This difference in mass affects the strength of the pressure and the distance over which it can act.

4. Can radiation pressure from sound waves be utilized in any way?

Yes, radiation pressure from sound waves can be utilized in various applications. For example, it is used in ultrasonic levitation, where sound waves are used to suspend small objects in mid-air. It is also used in acoustic tweezers, which can manipulate and move microscopic particles using sound waves.

5. Is radiation pressure from sound waves harmful to humans?

No, the amount of radiation pressure that sound waves exert on objects is extremely small and not harmful to humans. In fact, we experience radiation pressure from sound waves every day without any negative effects. However, extremely high intensity sound waves can cause damage to the human body, but this is due to other factors such as temperature and vibration, not radiation pressure.

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