Sound wave reflection question

In summary, the echoes from a large and small insect would be the same if they were the same distance from a bat. The only way the echoes would be different would be if the insect were the shape of a parabola.
  • #1
Checkfate
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0
Hello,

I am working on a problem, how would the echoes from a large and small insect compare if they were the same distance from a bat? (from the bats point of view of course)

I don't think they would differ at all. If the insects are not moving, then there would be no differance. The only way I could see a difference is if the insect were the shape of a parabola(lol).. Am I right?
 
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  • #2
After rethinking this question I think I am closer, but still don't have a definite answer.

The wavelength of the bat's sound will determine whether or not it can see the insect. Although the question uses words like "small and large" which are not very descriptive, I think they are suggesting they are at least big enough for the bat to see. Somewhere in my book it said a bat chirps at a frequency of 60KHz, so since sound travels at around 340m/s in the air, the bat can detect insects as small as 5.0mm roughly.

I think the main question here is how small is small? This question is starting to make me mad.

Given the information in the question, should there be a difference in the echo? I don't see how, I mean obviously it is going to have an effect but from 100feet away, the returning sound wave will be so spread out that I don't think it would be able to tell the differance. Perhaps it also depends on how far away the bat is... aghh
 
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  • #3
Okay, I think I finally found the answer I need, although I don't 100% understand it unfortunately, but I will be able to fix that with more studying. Thanks.

The solution I came across is that since small objects reflect less, the sound will be less intense when it gets to the bat. Or vice versa with the big insect the sound will be more intense. What I don't understand is why it will be more intense. It would make sense if the sound wave traveled straight and did not spread out at all, but this is not the case. Anyways, I'll figure it out, but if someone knows, I would appreciate an answer immensely. Thanks. :)
 

Related to Sound wave reflection question

1. What is sound wave reflection?

Sound wave reflection is the phenomenon in which a sound wave bounces off a surface and returns to the source. This can occur with any type of sound wave, including those created by musical instruments or human voices.

2. How does sound wave reflection work?

Sound wave reflection works by the sound wave hitting a surface at an angle and bouncing off at an equal but opposite angle. This is known as the law of reflection, which states that the angle of incidence (incoming wave) is equal to the angle of reflection (outgoing wave).

3. What factors affect sound wave reflection?

The main factors that affect sound wave reflection are the type of surface the sound wave is hitting, the angle at which it hits the surface, and the frequency and intensity of the sound wave. Smooth, hard surfaces tend to reflect sound waves better than soft or rough surfaces.

4. Why is sound wave reflection important?

Sound wave reflection has several important applications, such as in soundproofing rooms or creating echoes in concert halls. It also plays a role in how we perceive sound, as reflected waves can change the quality or loudness of the original sound.

5. What is the difference between sound wave reflection and sound wave absorption?

Sound wave reflection and sound wave absorption are two opposite processes. While reflection involves sound waves bouncing off a surface, absorption involves the sound waves being absorbed by the surface. Materials with soft, porous surfaces tend to absorb sound waves, while hard, smooth surfaces tend to reflect them.

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