Is sound louder in water?
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Q:

Is sound louder in water?

A:

Quick Answer

Sound is louder in water than in air. Sound travels as waves that bounce off objects. Sound waves travel five times faster in water than in air, and they travel farther.

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Full Answer

The world's oceans are noisy places. According to the Student Society for Science, though the underwater world may sound relatively quiet to human ears, the noise level has been rising by 3 decibels every decade since the 1960s. Humans cannot hear many of the frequencies found in the oceans. The sounds they can't hear are heard and used by ocean-dwelling animals. Additional noise produced by ships' engines create havoc for animals that use sound for communication and navigation.

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    How much faster does sound travel through water than air?

    A:

    At 32 degrees Fahrenheit, sound waves propagate approximately four times faster in water than in air. The speed of sound in water is around 3,170 mph, while the speed of sound in air is only about 740 mph. At room temperature, which is equivalent to 68 degrees, acoustic waves travel in water and air at speeds of 3,315 mph and 767 mph, respectively.

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  • Q:

    Why does sound travel faster in water than in air?

    A:

    Sound travels faster in water than air because it moves as a result of particles bumping into each other; water particles are much closer together than air. Liquid molecules have substantially less energy than gas molecules, which means they are closer together.

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    What causes light refraction?

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    Refraction is caused by light passing from one medium to another (from air to water, for example) and experiencing a change in speed. A fisherman looking into water to spear a fish will have to remember that refraction will distort the image he sees under the water's surface.

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    Does sound travel faster under water?

    A:

    Sound travels faster under water than in the air. Sound waves travel by conduction from one molecule to another. Water molecules are much closer together than air molecules, facilitating the speed of the sound wave.

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