Intensity of the superposition of sound waves

In summary, when a sound wave with intensity 4 mW/m2 interferes destructively with a sound wave with intensity 10 mW/m2, the resulting intensity is the difference between the two intensities, which is 6 mW/m2. Adding the intensities is incorrect since the interference is destructive and will result in a larger value.
  • #1
chess10771
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Homework Statement


A sound wave with intensity 4 mW/m2 interferes destructively with a sound wave that has an intensity of 10 mW/m2. What is the intensity of the superposition of the two?


Homework Equations



sqrt of both values

The Attempt at a Solution


i believe that taking the sqrt of both values then adding them then squaring them is the correct solution but i keep getting the incorrect answer.

i keep getting 26.65
 
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  • #2
Why are you adding? The question says that the interference is destructive.
 
  • #3
ok so what exactly do i do then?
 
  • #4
Subtract, don't add, since the interference is destructive.
 

Related to Intensity of the superposition of sound waves

What is the intensity of the superposition of sound waves?

The intensity of the superposition of sound waves refers to the combined level of loudness when two or more sound waves interact with each other. It is measured in decibels (dB) and is affected by the amplitude and frequency of the individual waves.

How is the intensity of the superposition of sound waves calculated?

To calculate the intensity of the superposition of sound waves, you can use the formula I = I1 + I2 + 2√(I1I2)cosθ, where I1 and I2 are the individual intensities of the two sound waves and θ is the angle between them. This formula takes into account the interference between the waves.

What is the difference between constructive and destructive interference in sound waves?

Constructive interference occurs when two or more sound waves meet and their amplitudes combine to create a louder sound. Destructive interference, on the other hand, happens when two waves meet and their amplitudes cancel each other out, resulting in a quieter sound.

Can the intensity of the superposition of sound waves be greater than the individual wave intensities?

Yes, the intensity of the superposition of sound waves can be greater than the individual wave intensities. This is because when two waves interfere constructively, their amplitudes add up, resulting in a higher intensity. However, this can only happen when the waves have the same frequency and are in phase.

How does the distance between sound sources affect the intensity of the superposition of sound waves?

The distance between sound sources can affect the intensity of the superposition of sound waves. As the distance increases, the intensity decreases due to the spreading out of the sound energy over a larger area. This is known as the inverse square law and is a fundamental principle in understanding the behavior of sound waves.

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