Pitch, in physics, is equivalent to the frequency of sound waves, which are any compression waves in a medium. The word "pitch" is used specifically in situations where humans are perceiving the frequency of sound and changes in that frequency. Differences and changes in perceived pitch aren't always the same as the actual differences and changes in the frequencies of the sounds perceived.Know More
In general, the perception of higher pitches and lower pitches is accompanied by higher and lower frequencies of sound, but this isn't actually always the case. For instance, high pitches are perceived to grow higher as they grow louder, and low pitches are perceived to grow lower as they grow louder.
The frequency of sound waves isn't referred to as pitch in situations where it is purely measured by scientific instruments. Indeed, the smallest unit of pitch is called a cent, which means the smallest difference in pitch detectable by the human ear. Different people have different abilities to perceive and identify pitch. A tiny proportion of the population actually has perfect pitch, the ability to identify a pitch without reference to any other standard pitch. This ability is far less developed in humans than the perception of color, which is the equivalent perception of the frequency of light.Learn more about Optics & Waves
Sound cannot travel through a vacuum, because sound requires a medium to form and travel. Despite what science fiction movies show, there is no sound in space.Full Answer >
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 >
Sound travels through a medium as a mechanical wave. It cannot travel in a vacuum because it travels by vibrating the particles of the medium to transfer energy from one place to another.Full Answer >
The distance that sound can travel depends on what medium the sound wave has to go through. The speed of the wave affects the distance that it can travel. Temperature and atmospheric pressure also can directly affect the amount of distance a sound wave can cover.Full Answer >