# Sound in a vaccum?

#### pivoxa15

Since sound recquires a medium to travel, there should be no sound in a vaccum or empty space?

If it is true than isn't it a bit unintuitive as I would not hear myself playing an instrument when in a vaccum.

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#### russ_watters

Mentor
Why would that be unintuitive?

Caveat: if you are playing an instrument, you are physicallly connected to it, so it will transmit it's sound to you directly. It would just sound different than if there were air.

#### vaishakh

You will not simply hear the instrument. For example you will not hear the sound of of a drum if you are simply hitting it. for that you will have to keep your ears on the drum surface. but i don't know who told you this? ask him to specify what he told.
anyway the basic concept is sound needs a medium to travel. so it an travel through the instrument medium

#### photon79

russ_watters said:
Why would that be unintuitive?
Caveat: if you are playing an instrument, you are physicallly connected to it, so it will transmit it's sound to you directly. It would just sound different than if there were air.
If we are physically connected to the instrument,in what way it will communicate with us? For sound to propagate some medium should be there ,,there should be some thing to carry the waves coming out of the instrument till the reciever, (ear)
And I think its an imaginary experiment to perform it in vocuum because 1) sound cannt propagate in vacuum
2)we cannt live there in such low pressures..

even if u are there to perform u can not listen to it..its not intutive.

#### pivoxa15

I was thinking of a situation where I am in a special suit and I was put into a vaccumed room with a loud instrument (in air) unattached to the suit. Assume that I could detect sound in my suit when playing the instrument normally in air.

Would it be true that I would not detect any sound (that is sound will not travel between the instrument and my ear because there is no medium for it to travel in) no matter how loud the instrument can be in air?

#### photon79

I didnt get u..instrument is in air and you r in vacuum with spl suit,,this is waht u meant, if i got u!
In this case the instrument is in air but detector(ear) is in void, so u shouldnt hear anything..but the mechanical vibrations can reach ur body as ur holding the instrument.

#### krab

russ_watters said:
Why would that be unintuitive?
Caveat: if you are playing an instrument, you are physicallly connected to it, so it will transmit it's sound to you directly. It would just sound different than if there were air.
Russ: You may be a mentor, so all the more reason to set a good example. "It's" means "It is"; the neutral possessive pronound is "Its". No apostrophe.

#### Gokul43201

Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Ooh ! That's a low blow.

#### Pengwuino

Gold Member
Uhhh oh, krab is going to unleash the monster in russ!!!

#### Pengwuino

Gold Member
krab said:
Russ: You may be a mentor, so all the more reason to set a good example. "It's" means "It is"; the neutral possessive pronound is "Its". No apostrophe.
and wait a second :P

To the OP, if you setup a very specialized situation, don't expect things to be very intuitive.

#### pivoxa15

pivoxa15 said:
I was thinking of a situation where I am in a special suit and I was put into a vaccumed room with a loud instrument (in air) unattached to the suit. Assume that I could detect sound in my suit when playing the instrument normally in air.

Would it be true that I would not detect any sound (that is sound will not travel between the instrument and my ear because there is no medium for it to travel in) no matter how loud the instrument can be in air?

Sorry I did not make myself clear enough. The instrument plays loudly in air. But I carry it in the vaccumed room. So after it is in the vaccumed room, there is no air surrounding the instrument.

An equivalent example would be to put a radio and a detector with some distance apart in a vaccumed room and the radio is turned on to full volume. Will the detector record any sound from this radio in this vaccumed room?

I guess they are more like thought experiments.

#### russ_watters

Mentor
photon79 said:
If we are physically connected to the instrument,in what way it will communicate with us? For sound to propagate some medium should be there ,,there should be some thing to carry the waves coming out of the instrument till the reciever, (ear)
And I think its an imaginary experiment to perform it in vocuum because 1) sound cannt propagate in vacuum
2)we cannt live there in such low pressures..
even if u are there to perform u can not listen to it..its not intutive.
Well, setting aside the dying thing, if you play a guitar, for example, the sound waves will travel through your arms, to your ears.
krab said:
Russ: You may be a mentor, so all the more reason to set a good example. "It's" means "It is"; the neutral possessive pronound is "Its". No apostrophe.
Ok....I know that - do I do that a lot? I have a handful of common typos that I make (some "ie" and "ei" words that I get backwards a lot). I, also, tend, to, overuse, comas...
Penguino said:
Uhhh oh, krab is going to unleash the monster in russ!!!
Despite what you see from me in the politics forum, you've never seen the monster in me. Very few have.

#### DaveC426913

Gold Member
pivoxa15 said:
Sorry I did not make myself clear enough. The instrument plays loudly in air. But I carry it in the vaccumed room. So after it is in the vaccumed room, there is no air surrounding the instrument.
An equivalent example would be to put a radio and a detector with some distance apart in a vaccumed room and the radio is turned on to full volume. Will the detector record any sound from this radio in this vaccumed room?
I guess they are more like thought experiments.
You will hear no sound coming from the instrument and no sound from the radio.

To intuit requires a previous or familair situation from which to extrapolate. We do not normally interact with vacuum, so there's no intuition.

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