The most basic characteristics of a sound wave are pitch, loudness and tone. A sound wave's frequency is experienced as the wave's pitch. The amplitude determines loudness or volume. The tone of a sound wave can be recognized by the regularity of its vibration.Know More
A higher frequency has a higher pitch, whereas a lower frequency has a lower pitch. Human ears detect a large range of frequencies from to 20 to 20,000 Hz. When a sound is below a 20 Hz frequency range and inaudible to human hearing, it is called infrasound. Sounds above 20,000 Hz are known as ultrasound.
A larger amplitude means a louder sound, while a smaller amplitude means a softer sound. The sensitivity of an ear also determines the loudness of a sound, as human ears are more sensitive to certain frequencies than others. The volume of a sound is dependent on both a sound wave's amplitude and the more or less sensitive region of the ear that the frequency is picked up in.
While a simple tone has a single frequency, a complex tone is created from two or more simple tones. A sound's lowest-frequency tone is referred to as the fundamental tone, while the rest are called the overtones. If the overtones have frequencies that are whole multiples (2, 3, 4, etc.) of the fundamental frequency tone, they are called harmonics of the fundamental tone. A musical tone is the combination of these harmonic tones.Learn more about Optics & Waves
How Stuff Works explains that sound travels in mechanical waves, and these waves are disturbances that cause energy to move. The energy is then transported through a medium. Disturbances occur when an object vibrates. This vibration is caused by interconnected and interactive particles.Full Answer >
Pitch is determined by the frequency of a wave, and frequency is the combination of wavelength and speed at which the wave is traveling. Sound has a constant speed of 343 meters per second, so wavelength dictates pitch. The longer a sound's wavelength, the lower the pitch of that sound.Full Answer >
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 >