Q:

What does the frequency of a sound wave determine?

A:

Quick Answer

The frequency of a sound wave determines what people hear as pitch. A higher frequency has a higher pitch, and a lower frequency is heard as a lower pitch. The frequencies that humans can hear range from 20 to 20,000 Hertz.

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Full Answer

Frequencies below 20 Hz are called infrasound, and those above 20,000 Hz are ultrasound frequencies. Animals like dogs and dolphins can hear at lower and higher frequencies than humans. For example, dolphins hear frequencies between 0.25 and 200,000 Hz.

A wave's frequency is defined as the rate at which a particle vibrates through a medium or material. Hertz is the unit of measurement used for frequency; 1 Hertz is equal to 1 vibration per second.

Loudness, which is another component of sound waves, is determined by a sound wave's amplitude. A large amplitude represents a louder sound.

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Related Questions

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    What is the difference between pitch and loudness?

    A:

    Pitch refers to the frequency of a sound, while loudness refers to the size or amplitude of the sound. Every sound has both a specific pitch and loudness.

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  • Q:

    What is ultrasonic sound?

    A:

    Sound is generally classed as ultrasonic when its frequency exceeds 20,000 hertz. This is the upper range of humans' ability to perceive, though the ultrasonic range of frequencies extends upward into the millions of hertz.

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    What is sound frequency?

    A:

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    What are the different properties of sound?

    A:

    Several characteristics define sound, including frequency, pitch, loudness, wavelength and period. Sound travels in waves and is caused by vibrations. Sound travels fastest through solids, slowest in gases and at an intermediate speed through liquids.

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