Definitions

compression-wave

Acoustic wave

An acoustic wave is a weak compression wave (meaning a small pressure change) that moves at the speed of sound. As opposed to a shock wave, the pressure change is continuous, and the wave is isentropic, meaning energy is conserved as it propagates. A further difference is that shock waves can move faster than the speed of sound. Alternating compression and expansion acoustic waves moving in unison cause sound.

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