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Sound waves in solids?

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

    Hello!
    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?

    Thanks
    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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