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Quick question: speed of sound in seawater

  1. Nov 14, 2006 #1
    Dolphins emit ultrasonic waves with a frequency as high as 5.5 x 10^5Hz. What is the wavelength of such a wave in seawater at 25°C?

    i know how to solve this one, all i need is the speed of sound waves in seawater at 25 degrees Celsius. My teacher gave us the speed in water at 20C which = 1482m/s. I tried using 1482 in my equation, but obviously it didn't work; google offered me little insight. Do any of you know the velocity I'm looking for? Thanks
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 15, 2006 #2


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    Giancoli gives it as 1560 m/s at 20 oC.
  4. Nov 15, 2006 #3
    Is there a formula I can use to calculate the speed of sound in various liquids/materials?
  5. Nov 16, 2006 #4
    Update: Here is my work for this problem;

    f=5.5x10^5 Hz
    Vsound in seawater=1560m/s

    => 1560/5.5x10^5 = .0028364m
    => 2.835mm

    Is this correct?
  6. Nov 16, 2006 #5
    It looks right. of interest, have you ever heard of the sound channel? It exists in the ocean, it is a zone of low velocity bounded vertically by water of higher velocity. By refraction (Snell's law) sound does not escape the channel and can travel great distances without attenuating. Whales communicate via the sound channel as did humans in submarines back in the old days.
  7. Nov 19, 2006 #6
    hmm, this one is bumming me out because I attempt to enter my calculated value into the online hw submission and I'm told my answer is incorrect. Everything looks correct doesn't it???
  8. Dec 10, 2008 #7
    I know this is kind of late, but the speed of sound in seawater at 25 deg. C is 1533 m/s for anyone else who needs it. I hate when you have to do those online homeworks and you might not have these values to solve them ('cuz you didn't want to buy a $200 book for no reason)!
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