1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Homework Help: Sound Intensity and Human threshold for hearing

  1. Feb 10, 2008 #1
    Is it possible to have a negative sound intensity level?
    A sound that is below the threshold of human hearing has......

    (A) a negative intensity level (in dB).
    (B) a negative intensity (in W/m^2 ).
    (C) an intensity level of zero.
    (D)an intensity level less than 1 dB , but greater than 0.

    I think I know the answer but I don't want to guess wrong and lose points.

    Does it have to do with anything like I/Io or I=power/area ??

    I think the answers is A or B..but I don't see the difference in between dB and W/m^2 i thought they are the same thing.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 10, 2008 #2
    I think you're confusing yourself. Look at the units in answers A and B and ask yourself how each could physically be negative.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook