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The Nature of Sound Ears and Speakers What IS Sound? units of pressure: N/m2 or psi (lbs/square-inch) UCSD: Physics 8; 2007 Sound is really tiny fluctuations of air pressure Carried through air at 345 m/s (770 m.p.h) as compressions and rarefactions in air pressure compressed gas wavelength rarefied gas 2 Properties of Waves or T
pressure UCSD: Physics 8; 2007 Wavelength ( ) is measured from crest-to-crest or trough-to-trough, or upswing to upswing, etc. horizontal axis could be: space: representing snapshot in time time: representing sequence at a particular point in space For traveling waves (sound, light, water), there is a speed (c) Frequency (f) refers to how many cycles pass by per second measured in Hertz, or Hz: cycles per second associated with this is period: T = 1/f These three are closely related: f = c What is a rarefaction?
3 UCSD: Physics 8; 2007 Longitudinal vs. Transverse Waves Sound is a longitudinal wave, meaning that the motion of particles is along the direction of propagation Transverse waves--water waves, light--have things moving perpendicular to the direction of propagation What is the frequency... What is the wavelength...?
4 UCSD: Physics 8; 2007 Why is Sound Longitudinal? Waves in air can't really be transverse, because the atoms/molecules are not bound to each other can't pull a (momentarily) neighboring molecule sideways only if a "rubber band" connected the molecules would this work fancy way of saying this: gases can't support shear loads Air molecules can really only bump into one another Imagine people in a crowded train station with hands in pockets pushing into crowd would send a wave of compression into the crowd in the direction of push (longitudinal) jerking people back and forth (sideways, over several meters) would not propagate into the crowd but if everyone held hands (bonds), this transverse motion would propagate into crowd
5 UCSD: Physics 8; 2007 Sound Wave Interference and Beats When two sound waves are present, the superposition leads to interference by this, we mean constructive and destructive addition Two similar frequencies, similar intensities, give beats spend a little while in phase, and a little while out of phase result is "beating" of sound amplitude
in phase: add
signal A signal B out of phase: cancel
A + B beat (interference) 6 UCSD: Physics 8; 2007 Speed of Sound Sound speed in air is related to the frantic motions of molecules as they jostle and collide since air has a lot of empty space, the communication that a wave is coming through has to be carried by the motion of particles for air, this motion is about 500 m/s, but only about 350 m/s directed in any particular direction Solids have faster sound speeds because atoms are hooked up by "springs" (bonds) don't have to rely on atoms to traverse gap spring compression can (and does) travel faster than actual atom motion 7 UCSD: Physics 8; 2007 Sound Speeds
Medium air (20C) water gold brick wood glass steel aluminum sound speed (m/s) 343 1497 3240 3650 38004600 5100 5790 6420 http://hypertextbook.com/physics/waves/sound/ 8 UCSD: Physics 8; 2007 Sound Intensity Sound requires energy (pushing atoms/molecules through a distance), and therefore a power Sound is characterized in decibels (dB), according to: sound level = 10 log(I/I0) = 20 log(P/P0) dB I0 = 10- W/m2 is the threshold power intensity (0 dB) 12 P0 = 2 10- N/m2 is the threshold pressure (0 dB) 5 atmospheric pressure is about 105 N/m2 Examples:
11 10 dB (barely detectable) means log(I/I0) = 1, so I = 10- W/m2
5 log(P/P0) = 0.5, so P 6 10- N/m2 6 60 dB (conversation) means log(I/I0) = 6, so I = 10- W/m2
2 log(P/P0) = 3, so P = 2 10- N/m2 = 0.0000002 atmosphere!! 120 dB (pain threshold) means log (I/I0) = 12, so I = 1 W/m2 log(P/P0) = 6, so P = 20 N/m2 = 0.0002 atmosphere
9 UCSD: Physics 8; 2007 Sound hitting your eardrum Pressure variations displace membrane (eardrum, microphone) which can be used to measure sound my speaking voice is moving your eardrum by a mere 1.5 10-4 mm = 150 nm = 1/4 wavelength of visible light! threshold of hearing detects 5 10-8 mm motion, one-half the diameter of a single atom!!! pain threshold corresponds to 0.05 mm displacement Ear ignores changes slower than 20 Hz so though pressure changes even as you climb stairs, it is too slow to perceive as sound Eardrum can't be wiggled faster than about 20 kHz just like trying to wiggle resonant system too fast produces no significant motion 10 UCSD: Physics 8; 2007 Sensitivity of the Human Ear We can hear sounds with frequencies ranging from 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz an impressive range of three decades (logarithmically) about 10 octaves (factors of two) compare this to vision, with less than one octave! 11 Localization of Sound UCSD: Physics 8; 2007 At low frequencies (< 1000 Hz), detect phase difference wave crest hits one ear before the other "shadowing" not very effective because of diffraction At high frequencies (> 4000 Hz), use relative intensity in both ears one ear is in sound shadow even with one ear, can tell front vs. back at high freq. 12 UCSD: Physics 8; 2007 Speakers: Inverse Eardrums Speakers vibrate and push on the air pushing out creates compression pulling back creates rarefaction Speaker must execute complex motion according to desired waveform Speaker is driven via "solenoid" idea: electrical signal (AC) is sent into coil that surrounds a permanent magnet attached to speaker cone depending on direction of current, the induced magnetic field either lines up with magnet or is opposite results in pushing or pulling (attracting/repelling) magnet in coil, and thus pushing/pulling on center of cone 13 UCSD: Physics 8; 2007 Speaker Geometry 14 Push Me, Pull Me UCSD: Physics 8; 2007 When the center of the speaker cone is kicked, the whole cone can't respond instantaneously the fastest any mechanical signal can travel through a material is at the speed of sound in the material The whole cone must move into place well before the wave period is complete otherwise, different parts of the cone might be moving in while others are moving out (thus canceling the sound) if we require the signal to travel from the center to the edge of the cone in 1/N of a wave cycle (N is some large-ish number): available time is t = 1/Nf = /Ncair ripple in cone travels cconet, so radius of cone must be < ccone/Ncair basic point is that speaker size is related to wavelength of sound low frequency speakers are big, high frequency small
15 The Look of Sound
Sound Waveforms Frequency Content Digital Sampling UCSD: Physics 8; 2007 All Shapes of Waveforms Different Instruments have different waveforms a: glockenspiel b: soft piano c: loud piano d: trumpet Our ears are sensitive to the detailed shape of waveforms! More waveforms: e: french horn f: clarinet g: violin http://www.st-and.demon.co.uk/AudioMisc/asymmetry/asym.html
17 UCSD: Physics 8; 2007 How does our ear know? Our ears pick out frequency components of a waveform A DC (constant) signal has no wiggles, thus is at zero frequency A sinusoidal wave has a single frequency associated with it The faster the wiggles, the higher the frequency The height of the spike indicates how strong (amplitude) that frequency component is 18 Composite Waveforms UCSD: Physics 8; 2007 A single sine wave has only one frequency represented in the "power spectrum" Adding a "second harmonic" at twice the frequency makes a more complex waveform Throwing in the fourth harmonic, the waveform is even more sophisticated A square wave is composed of odd multiples of the fundamental frequency 19 UCSD: Physics 8; 2007 Decomposing a Square Wave Adding the sequence:
sin(x) + 1/3sin(3x) + 1/5sin(5x) + 1/7sin(7x) + ... leads to a square wave Fourier components are at odd frequency multiples with decreasing amplitude 20 UCSD: Physics 8; 2007 The ear assesses frequency content Different waveforms look different in frequency space The sounds with more high-frequency content will sound raspier The exact mixture of frequency content is how we distinguish voices from one another effectively, everyone has their own waveform and corresponding spectrum though an "A" may sound vastly similar, we're sensitive to very subtle variations
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This note was uploaded on 04/10/2008 for the course PHYS 8 taught by Professor Tytler during the Spring '08 term at UCSD.
- Spring '08