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Sound Tutorial

  • Sound waves are caused by vibrations such as that from a tuning fork, a loudspeaker cone, or the human voice.
  • These vibrations need air to travel through. They cannot travel through a vacuum.
  • The air itself doesn't travel.
  • The sound causes compression and decompression of the air as it moves through it.
  • There is a regular spacing between one pressure peak and the next.
  • This distance is called the WAVELENGTH.

Sound Wave Length Diagram

  • Sound travels at about 330 metres a second.
  • A pure sound tone consists of a single frequency of vibration.
  • The range of human hearing is about 20 Hertz to 20 KiloHertz.
  • Most sounds are a mixture of frequencies. See the page on HARMONICS.
  • Microphones convert sound pressure waves into electrical signals.
  • Loudspeakers convert electrical signals into sound waves.
  • Loudspeakers and microphones are TRANSDUCERS.
  • Frequency, wavelength and the speed of sound are interrelated.

Wavelength x frequency = the speed of sound in metres per second.

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