# What is the True Frequency of Sound When Striking Wood at Different Rates?

• B
• houlahound
In summary, the conversation discusses the concept of frequency and its relationship to sound. It explains that when an object, such as a piece of wood, is hit with a mallet, it produces a pulse at its natural frequency. However, when a mechanical vibrator is used to repeatedly hit the object at a different frequency, the object is forced to vibrate at that frequency. This is how all speakers and sound-producing devices work, as they cannot be in resonant motion with the applied frequency. The frequency of sound is determined by the source, whether it is the natural frequency of the object or the frequency of the applied force.
houlahound
explain the question by example;

I hit a piece of wood with a mallet and record a pulse ie;

zooming in I get a specific frequency;

pretend it is a sine wave of frequency 500HzI then beat the wood with a frequency of 10 000Hz (pretend this is a 10 000HZ sine wave beating;

so what is the frequency of the sound 10 000Hz?

all sounds must be produced this way ie something being mechanically struck eg speaker cone moving under varying magnetic field but you also have the "internal" sound of the structure being mechanically struck eg speaker paper, proof; replace the paper speaker cone with a plastic one and use the same source frequency you get a different tone but same frequency.

so which frequency are we quoting?

houlahound said:
explain the question by example;

I hit a piece of wood with a mallet and record a pulse ie;

View attachment 98996

zooming in I get a specific frequency;

View attachment 98997

pretend it is a sine wave of frequency 500HzI then beat the wood with a frequency of 10 000Hz (pretend this is a 10 000HZ sine wave beating;

View attachment 98999so what is the frequency of the sound 10 000Hz?

all sounds must be produced this way ie something being mechanically struck eg speaker cone moving under varying magnetic field but you also have the "internal" sound of the structure being mechanically struck eg speaker paper, proof; replace the paper speaker cone with a plastic one and use the same source frequency you get a different tone but same frequency.

so which frequency are we quoting?
With electrical resonant circuits we do not see this action. If I drive A 500 Hz resonant LC circuit with 10,000 Hz I do not see 500 Hz. Even if I place a non linear device like a diode in the circuit I do not see 500 Hz. The 500Hz you are seeing must be excited by a component of the exciting source at 500 Hz, such as noise or the impulse of swiching on.

There is a difference between hitting the wood once generating what you call pulse and hitting it repeatedly by a mechanical vibrator of 10,000 Hz frequency.
In the first case the natural frequency of the wood surface is produced which is damped with time that is why you have pulse. In the other case the wooden surface is forced to vibrate with the applied frequency. all speakers and all which reproduce sound are in forced motion. They cannot be and should not be in resonant motion with applied periodic forec also of teh same frequency then the system will break down. normal sounds are a mixed bag of frequencies in the range of 20 Hz to 20k Hz.

## What is a wave?

A wave is a disturbance that travels through a medium, transferring energy from one point to another without causing any permanent displacement of the medium itself.

## What are the types of waves?

There are two main types of waves: transverse waves and longitudinal waves. Transverse waves move perpendicular to the direction of the wave's motion, while longitudinal waves move parallel to the direction of the wave's motion.

## What is the difference between amplitude and wavelength?

Amplitude is the maximum displacement of particles in a wave from their resting position, while wavelength is the distance between two consecutive points on a wave with the same phase, such as two consecutive peaks or troughs.

## What factors affect the speed of a wave?

The speed of a wave is affected by the properties of the medium it is traveling through, such as density and elasticity. It is also affected by the frequency and wavelength of the wave.

## How can waves interact with each other?

Waves can interact with each other in several ways, including interference, diffraction, and reflection. Interference occurs when two waves meet and combine to form a new wave. Diffraction is the bending of waves around obstacles. Reflection is when waves bounce off a surface and change direction.