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lecture23 - 16.5 Sound Waves Almost all of us can hear...

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16.5 Sound Waves Almost all of us can hear sounds, but what is a “ sound ”? Sound is a longitudinal (compression) wave that moves through a medium. So how do we produce a sound wave ? Consider the diaphragm of a speaker. When the speaker moves out, it creates a compressed area of high-density air called condensation . When the speaker moves back in, it creates a low-density region of air called rarefaction . The speaker repeats its motion, and these areas of condensation and rarefaction propagate out away from the speaker as a sound wave.
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The wave propagates through the air with speed v , and wavelength λ , which is the distance between successive condensations or rarefactions. he sound wave then arrives to us and enters The sound wave then arrives to us and enters our ear. The human ear can detect ound waves with frequencies sound waves with frequencies between 20 Hz and 20,000 Hz (20 kHz).
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Sound of a single frequency is call a tone . The pitch of the sound is our perception of that tone. Of course sound exists for all other frequencies too, but humans can’t detect them out side of the range 20 Hz – 20 kHz. Below 20 Hz -
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This note was uploaded on 08/04/2009 for the course PHYS 2001 taught by Professor Sprunger during the Fall '08 term at LSU.

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lecture23 - 16.5 Sound Waves Almost all of us can hear...

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