What is an example of a sound that is intense but not loud?

  • #1
What is an example of a sound that is intense but not loud?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Math Is Hard
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
4,527
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Really good question!

Intensity refers to a physical property of the sound wave (related to its amplitude), while loudness is the perceptual quality that is experienced.

http://www.dosits.org/science/whatis/intensity.htm

My guess is that if a pure tone is of a frequency way outside of the human hearing range, it could have a very high amplitude and intensity, but still would not be heard. I'm not sure how far outside normal hearing range you would have to go because psychophysical researchers have found relationships between frequency and amplitude in determining perceived loudness ("equal loudness curves"). Maybe an expert will drop by and provide more insight.
 
  • #3
rbj
2,226
9
i guess an example would be a very "intense" sound (like 120 dB SPL) at 20 kHz. someone my age is likely not to hear it, but it might strip the skin offa you.
 

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