No sound in vacuum? So can I clap more?

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In summary: Its just really horrifying.Its not even that quick in the general scheme of things... Its actually horrifyingly slow, like minutes, mind you, you've lost consciousness before actual death, but you'd have 10's of seconds to contemplate your demise (and test how loud your clap is).
  • #1
I was just wondering (Wondering!? Stop wasting our precious time!) about clapping my hands.
*Claps*
It's sound energy. A little energy is released as heat.
Good.
This means that I have used some energy from my body. In making those two energies.
Right.
<<Mentor note: rant removed>>
So, I am in a vacuum. And I clap. Wonderful. I hear no sound.
But does this mean that the clap sound isn't being produced at all?
That is, the energy which was being converted to heat and sound is now being converted to just heat ( I understand there will be friction. Else there won't be any clap.)
So, the question is: Can I clap more times in a vacuum? As energy use is reduced?

Thanks for reading. Keep physicking.
 
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  • #2
prakhargupta3301 said:
But does this mean that the clap sound isn't being produced at all?
There would still be sound waves in your body

prakhargupta3301 said:
Can I clap more times in a vacuum? As energy use is reduced?
Your hands have no drag, so that makes it easier.
 
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  • #3
In air, some of the energy is converted to sound (vibrations in the air) and carried away.

In a vacuum, there is no air to vibrate. There might be vibrations in your flesh and blood. But less energy is carried away from your hands, so more heat will be generated.
 
  • #4
A.T. said:
Your hands have no drag, so that makes it easier.
I suspect it would feel noticeably different as they come together with no air in between them. Your mind would probably be on other things at the time but you could be applauding the skill of the airlock operator (ironically, perhaps).
 
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http://sd.keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk/i/in-space-no-one-can-hear-you-scream.png
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  • #6
I would think the proportion of energy that comes out as sound from a hand clap is minimal compared to the kinetic energy exchange that's happening when you accelerate your hand then collide it with the other hand. Just look at the mass difference, you are moving and stopping water filled meat ballons (~1kg/liter) to move air (1.2g/liter).
 
  • #7
prakhargupta3301 said:
So, I am in a vacuum. And I clap. Wonderful. I hear no sound.

You mean before you explode from being in a vacuum. You can't clap in a vacuum because you would not be alive. Suppose you are in a space suit and clap - sound will be produced inside the suit as per normal. The suit will of course also vibrate - but that vibration will not transfer energy to anything outside because there is nothing outside - but inside - it's as per normal.

A much better question is all these movable parts they have on say the space-station etc exposed to space - what happens to the sound they would normally make when they move if it was here on earth.

I will let you think about that one.

Thanks
Bill
 
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  • #8
bhobba said:
You mean before you explode from being in a vacuum
You don't explode in a vacuum. You'd die pretty quickly, but you could probably clap a few times before you went.
 
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  • #9
Khashishi said:
You don't explode in a vacuum. You'd die pretty quickly, but you could probably clap a few times before you went.

Its not even that quick in the general scheme of things... Its actually horrifyingly slow, like minutes, mind you, you've lost consciousness before actual death, but you'd have 10's of seconds to contemplate your demise (and test how loud your clap is).

Before morals were invented (pre 1967?) NASA did some tests on chimps' survival in near vacuum, and they were able to revive them after up to 3.5min of exposure.

"For example, in 1965 a technician inside a vacuum chamber at Johnson Space Center in Houston accidentally depressurized his space suit by disrupting a hose. After 12 to 15 seconds he lost consciousness. He regained it at 27 seconds, after his suit was repressurized to about half that of sea level. The man reported that his last memory before blacking out was of the moisture on his tongue beginning to boil as well as a loss of taste sensation that lingered for four days following the accident, but he was otherwise unharmed."
 
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  • #10
essenmein said:
Its not even that quick in the general scheme of things... Its actually horrifyingly slow, like minutes, mind you, you've lost consciousness before actual death, but you'd have 10's of seconds to contemplate your demise (and test how loud your clap is).

Before morals were invented (pre 1967?) NASA did some tests on chimps' survival in near vacuum, and they were able to revive them after up to 3.5min of exposure.

"He regained it at 27 seconds, after his suit was repressurized to about half that of sea level. The man reported that his last memory before blacking out was of the moisture on his tongue beginning to boil as well as a loss of taste sensation that lingered for four days following the accident, but he was otherwise unharmed."
I totally agree with this horrifying information. It's just like at low pressures water boils quickly. *sigh*
 
  • #11
bhobba said:
You mean before you explode from being in a vacuum. You can't clap in a vacuum because you would not be alive.

Thanks
Bill

For who the marshmallow man? I suspect space would take your breath away, and make you burp and fart at the same time :)

Oh and really hurt the ears; perhaps a little too quiet lol
 
  • #12
nitsuj said:
For who the marshmallow man? I suspect space would take your breath away, and make you burp and fart at the same time :) Oh and really hurt the ears; perhaps a little too quiet lol

That you explode from the pressure difference is an old wife's tale that has been corrected by others. The point is you die - maybe you can get a few claps off before that - maybe.

Thanks
Bill
 
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  • #13
bhobba said:
That you explode from the pressure difference is an old wife's tale that has been corrected by others. The point is you die - maybe you can get a few claps off before that - maybe.

Thanks
Bill
You're right, sorry for using the misunderstanding as a segway for an attempt at lame comedy. But at least I didn't insult old wives everywhere...or perhaps I'm misunderstanding the semantics ;)
 
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1. Why is there no sound in a vacuum?

Sound is a mechanical wave that requires a medium, such as air or water, to travel through. In a vacuum, there is no medium for sound to travel, therefore no sound can be heard.

2. Can sound travel through a vacuum if it's loud enough?

No, even with a very loud sound, it still requires a medium to travel through. In a vacuum, there is no medium for the sound to propagate, so it cannot be heard.

3. Does this mean that there is complete silence in space?

Yes, in the vacuum of space there is no sound due to the absence of a medium. However, there are still other forms of energy that can be detected, such as electromagnetic radiation.

4. If there is no sound in a vacuum, why do astronauts use radios in space?

While sound cannot travel in a vacuum, electromagnetic waves, such as radio waves, can. Astronauts use radios to communicate with each other and with Earth because they do not need a medium to propagate.

5. Can I clap or make any noise in a vacuum?

No, since there is no medium for the sound to travel through, it is not possible to create any audible noise in a vacuum. It is also not recommended to try clapping in a vacuum as it could have negative effects on your health and safety in a space environment.

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