Sound is a mechanical wave resulting from the back and forth vibration of the particles of the medium through which the wave is moving. The compressions and rarefactions of sound waves move parallel to the direction of wave propagation, making sound a longitudinal wave.Continue Reading
Sound can also be defined subjectively as the human interpretation of these mechanical waves by the auditory sense. This definition is somewhat restrictive, as it excludes subsonic and supersonic frequencies that the human ear cannot perceive. Unlike electromagnetic waves, which can travel in a vacuum completely devoid of material, a compressible medium must be present for sound to propagate through it. Sound waves can propagate through practically all forms of matter, provided that this matter is packed densely enough.
The particles of the medium do not travel with the sound wave. Instead, they vibrate around their fixed positions, transferring energy to their neighboring particles. The behavior of a sound wave is affected by the density of the medium, the temperature of the medium and the pressure of the medium if it is a gas. Motion of the medium independent of the sound wave may also affect the way sound propagates. For example, wind flowing in the same direction as a sound wave enables the wave to carry farther.Learn more about Optics & Waves
Sound occurs as a result of the back-and-forth vibration of sound waves travelling across a medium. A sound wave is sometimes referred to as a pressure wave because it contains repeating patterns of high-pressure and low-pressure regions.Full Answer >
Amplitude affects the loudness of sound by using vibration to make the sound larger or smaller than it is in actuality. Amplitude is a factor which directly impacts the sound.Full Answer >
A periodic wave is a series of regular timed disturbances in a medium. The mediums that carry such waves varies, but for periodic sound waves, air is a common medium.Full Answer >
The medium of a wave is any substance that carries the wave, or through which the wave travels. Ocean waves are carried by water, sound waves are carried by air, and the seismic waves of an earthquake are carried by rock and soil.Full Answer >