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Sound waves in solids?

  1. Feb 7, 2008 #1
    [SOLVED] Sound waves in solids?

    As far as i have learned sound waves are longitudinal! They propagate in gases liquids and plasmas. Does sound waves propagate through solids too? If so, what type of waves? Longitudinal or transversal?

    Note:If you consider this homework, sorry for that!
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 7, 2008 #2
    Sound propagates both as compressional "p-waves" (which are longitudinal - because particle motion is parallel to the ray) and shear "s-waves" (transverse - because particle motion is perpendicular to the ray) in solids. They travel at different velocities, p-waves are always faster than s-waves. Incidentally, if I remember my quantitative seismology correctly, from continuum mechanics the p-wave is the disturbance in a medium associated with "divergence" i.e. volume change of the medium, and the s-wave is associated with the rotation or "curl" i.e. the shape change or the "shear" of the medium.
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