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The Ratio intensities of two sounds

  1. Feb 15, 2008 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    I need to find the ration of the intensities of two sounds if one is 12 dB higher than the other ?

    2. Relevant equations

    I am not sure

    3. The attempt at a solution

    I took the inverse log of 12 and multiple the answer with ( 1 * 10^-12) to find I = 1.584 * 10^-11

    I know that the ration = (the higher values/the smaller value)

    but I am not sure about what I am doing
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 15, 2008 #2


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    Homework Helper

    The decibel scale is a logarithmic one, and a relative one (that is, unlike temperature or length, you define any intensity to be 0 dB and then measure everything relative to that specific intensity). If you understand this question, you have understood the concept of it.

    So let's start easier: do you know what the increase in level is (measured in dB) if the intensity doubles?
  4. Feb 17, 2008 #3
    You pretty much had the answer already. You found the intensity of a sound that corresponds to a 12dB sound level, which was 1.58 x 10^-11. Now as you said, the ratio of the intensities would be the intensity you found over the intensity of the original sound, in this case the 0dB sound, or one with an intensity of 1.0 x 10^-12. So now just calculate this ratio.
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