The physics behind smells

  • #1
chrismcgivney
I was thinking about light and sound and then I thought "what about smells?".

What I mean is, what's the physics behind a smell?? Is it a wave, is there particles that you smell?? It sounds weird but I'm really curious about this.

I understand it might be in the biology sort-of area but then again: everything is physics.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
ISamson
Gold Member
437
158
Welcome to PF!
I think this is more chemistry we are talking about, but anyway...
Different smells are composed of different chemicals and molecules, which we perceive differently with our olfactory sense. For example:
cJIW4G_4WoI1bkpC-eWkmlklRoa93xdR1XbXvmjcrDyv8B6a2KreWPQC6-jRLLeLzOJF8VX8QAFyNEqsYgqkGpwEsoeBavvg.png
 
  • #3
chrismcgivney
Thanks, that's crazy :oldsmile:
 
  • #4
ISamson
Gold Member
437
158
Therefore, it is particles that we smell.
 
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