# What is the acceleration of sound and what is the difference between acceleration an?

1. Jun 18, 2010

### mapa

What is the acceleration of sound and what is the difference between acceleration and velocity?

I was researching online the acceleration of sound but I found no answer. I want to calculate
the force of sound using F=ma, but I could not figure out the acceleration of sound. Along with trying to solve this problem I began thinking the difference between acceleration and velocity. I know the v=m/s and a=m/s^2. But if could someone please expand on what acceleration is and the main difference between velocity and acceleration.

2. Jun 19, 2010

### Staff: Mentor

Re: What is the acceleration of sound and what is the difference between acceleration

Sound is a wave. It doesn't have an acceleration. Acceleration is the time rate of change of velocity.

3. Jun 19, 2010

### azice

Re: What is the acceleration of sound and what is the difference between acceleration

Acceleration is the change of a velocity over an amount of time.

4. Jul 10, 2012

### floppyedonkey

Re: What is the acceleration of sound and what is the difference between acceleration

Hello and sorry to pull this question out of the depths of age. But I was reasearching a similar thing.

My issue with the quoted statment above is that, acceleration and velocity exist in sound especially considering common sounds are generated from a starting point.

Not to mention the notion of time is actually age which ='s change of velocity over age or in the case of sound, age and distance traveled.

5. Jul 10, 2012

### sophiecentaur

Re: What is the acceleration of sound and what is the difference between acceleration

It has to be true that you could find the velocity in one medium, then in the next medium and then measure the time taken to cross the interface. Applying 'the formula' would give you an answer and it would be in metres per second squared BUT would this number be of any consequence? How wide would you say that the interface was? Your answer for acceleration would depend entirely on this choice but, if you said the interface has zero width, then the acceleration would be INFINITE. What would be the point?

This is rather like many problems involving collisions of solid objects. They do change velocity during a collision but we would usually approach the problem in a way that didn't actually need to involve accelerations because the forces / distortions are not necessarily relevant to the answer. You can do it another way.

6. Jul 10, 2012

### nasu

Re: What is the acceleration of sound and what is the difference between acceleration

Maybe if you specify what do you mean by "the force of sound" it will be a little more clear.
The particles of the medium propagating a sound wave move with a variable velocity so they do have accelerations.
The sound wave itself propagates with constant speed in a homogenous medium so there is no acceleration associated.
Are you looking for the force exerted by a sound wave on a surface, maybe?

7. Jul 10, 2012

### CWatters

8. Jul 10, 2012

### floppyedonkey

Re: What is the acceleration of sound and what is the difference between acceleration

This guy is money right here. Nasu must be right when saying is he looking for "force exerted by a sound on a surface."

9. Jul 11, 2012

### PaulS1950

Re: What is the acceleration of sound and what is the difference between acceleration

waves propogate from the origin, they do not accelerate.
Sound waves propogate at the speed of sound - in whatever medium involved.

10. Jul 11, 2012

### sophiecentaur

Re: What is the acceleration of sound and what is the difference between acceleration

A good time to wait for a reaction from mapa, perhaps?