How Does Temperature Affect the Speed of Sound?

How Does Temperature Affect the Speed of Sound?

How Does Temperature Affect the Speed of Sound?

Temperature affects the speed of sound by changing the density of the medium in which a sound wave travels. In most cases, when the temperature of a medium increases so does the speed of sound through that medium.

Sound waves require a medium in order to travel. A medium can be a solid, liquid, or a gas such as air. The speed of sound depends on both the elasticity and density of the medium. When the elasticity increases and density decreases of a medium, sound is allowed to travel faster. Higher temperatures lower the density of a medium, which puts less resistance on the sound waves. For example, sounds travels 1,087 feet per second through air at a temperature of 32 degrees Fahrenheit. At a higher temperature of 68 F, the air density is significantly lower and sound is able to travel at 1,127 feet per second.