1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

What exactly is sound?

  1. Dec 6, 2008 #1
    What exactly is SOUND ? I have read in many books as describing it as the energy carried by fluctuation of air pressure of correct extent & rapidity or compression & rarefaction of air molecules but i want to know what exactly happens at micro level , at atomic level , out of curiousity what will happen when atoms or electron collide , is sound produced , can it be measured ? Is it a property of macro level ? IS friction necessary to produce sound ?
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 6, 2008 #2


    Staff: Mentor

    Re: Sound

    Do you understand what pressure is "at a micro level"? If so, then sound is essentially just a wave in the pressure.

    Friction is not really relevant to sound. Basically friction is due to shear stress, while pressure is due to normal stress.
  4. Dec 6, 2008 #3


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Re: Sound

    Sound is like touch. Touch is movement sensed by your skin, sound is movement sensed by your ear.
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Similar Discussions: What exactly is sound?
  1. What is sound? (Replies: 17)

  2. What exactly is fire? (Replies: 17)