Pressure waves in the air cause sound waves to form. However, sound waves can also form in water and in solids. The speed of sound varies significantly depending on the temperature and medium it travels through.Continue Reading
Sound is considered a wave, but it is not a form of electromagnetic radiation like light. Instead, sound is a pressure wave that forms when the media it is traveling in is disrupted in some way. Because it needs a medium to form and propagate, sound cannot travel in a vacuum; there is no sound in space.
The speed of sound varies based on the density of the medium it travels through. Sound travels faster in water than in air, and it travels even faster in solids. When a sound wave travels from one medium to another, much of the wave is reflected. Because of this, thin barriers can effectively block most sound.
The speed of sound is lower in the upper atmosphere, which created problems for some early aircraft. Traveling at supersonic speeds places a tremendous amount of stress on an aircraft, and the control surfaces, especially those on the tail of the plane, will cease working if the aircraft is not designed for supersonic flight.Learn more about Optics & Waves
The difference between pitch and volume is that pitch is determined by the frequency that sound waves vibrate at while volume measures how loud or soft sound is. Combined with timbre, pitch, measured in hertz, and volume, measured in decibels, comprise the three components of sound.Full Answer >
The bending of light, sound or heat waves is known as refraction. Refraction occurs when a light wave, heat wave or sound wave moves from one medium to another.Full Answer >
Ultrasonic sound waves are waves of sound beyond the range of perception. These sound waves are used by bats and dolphins for navigation and by medical imaging and in non-destructive testing.Full Answer >
An echo is the reflection of sound waves off distant objects, whereas flutter echoes bounce repeatedly off multiple surfaces. An example of an echo is when someone shouts into a well, or along canyon walls, and the sound of the human voice comes back to the person's ears. A flutter echo occurs in large buildings with parallel walls, such as gymnasiums, where sounds increase to create loud environments.Full Answer >