Sound is a fascinating subject that has been studied by scientists for generations. Many of us take it for granted and forget to appreciate how much it affects our lives. There are so many facts about sound available that it’s difficult to narrow it down into a manageable list.
Luckily, Lyz Cooper has found some fun facts which can be found here:
‘What is sound?
- Sound is audible energy. It’s the result of particles of matter vibrating to make waves that are ‘big’ enough and of the right pitch to be audible to human ears.
- For us to hear sound, the brain must be able to make sense of the energy vibrations. It then ‘converts’ them into sound we can understand.
Why does sound get quieter over time and distance?
- Imagine you’re holding a tuning fork in one hand and a striking block in the other. You strike the fork on the block to make it ring. As you strike you transfer energy from the block to the fork, moving back and forth, creating a pressure wave.
- The pressure wave ‘hits’ the molecules nearest the tines, which receive the energy of the resonating tuning fork and pass the sound energy to the molecules next to them, which pass the sound onto their adjacent molecules, and so on. Each time the molecules pass on the sonic baton, a little of the sound’s energy is lost. It’s for this reason that sound eventually runs out.
- This loss of energy is known as ‘decay’ and the length of time it takes for the sound to decay altogether is called the ‘sustain’.
- The length of the sustain depends on two things: the strength of the original input of energy (in our tuning fork example that’s the strength of the strike on the block) and the medium for sound travel.
- Sounds need a medium, such as a solid, a liquid or a gas, in which to travel.
- As sound travels from molecule to molecule, the closer packed molecules are, the more efficiently the sound travels. Sound travels much faster through steel than through air, for example, which is why people used to put an ear to the railway track to hear a train coming from miles away (please don’t try that!).
- Sound travels four times faster in water than it does in air, which is why your inner ears are filled with fluid. Scientists have registered whale calls from up to 10,000 miles across the ocean!’
From #WhatIs Sound Healing? by Lyz Cooper
Which fact did you find the most interesting? Do you have any other fun facts about sound?
We have a post all about the power of sound if you want to learn more!