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.Know More
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
Music, speech and explosions are all examples of sound waves. Sound waves are mechanical vibrations in a compressible medium. The larger the amplitude of the waves, the louder the wave sounds. Because mechanical vibrations require a medium to vibrate, sound does not manifest in vacuums, such as space.Full Answer >
Mechanical motion forms through the sound waves made by vibrating massive objects. Guitar, harp or piano strings are clear examples of the principle, but horns, percussive instruments and woodwinds also create vibrations that make sound waves. Even ordinary objects create sound waves if they vibrate.Full Answer >
Sound waves can be reflected. They most often reflect when they hit an obstacle in their path, such as a hard wall. Some sound waves will be reflected when the sound transitions from traveling through one medium to another, such as going from air to water.Full Answer >
Sound waves are longitudinal waves of sound formed as it occurs. They cannot be seen with the naked eye, but they can be represented on a graph. There, sound waves are displayed as a series of vertical lines.Full Answer >