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Physics Unit 7

Sound

TermDefinition
sine curve the waveform traced by simple harmonic motion, which can be made visible on a moving conveyor belt by a pendulum swinging at right angles above the moving belt
amplitude for a wave or vibration, the maximum displacement on either side of the equilibrium (midpoint) position
wavelength the distance between successive crests, troughs, or identical parts of a wave
frequency for a vibrating body or medium, the number of vibrations per unit of time; for a wave, the number of crests that pass a particular point per unit of time
Hertz the SI unit of frequency; one Hz equals one vibration per second
period the time in which a vibration is completed; the period of a wave equals the period of the source & is equal to 1/frequency
transverse wave a wave in which the medium vibrates perpendicularly to the direction in which the wave travels. (light waves & waves on stringed instruments)
longitudinal wave a wave in which the medium vibrates parallel to the direction in which the wave travels (sound waves)
wave speed the speed with which waves pass a particular point; wave speed=frequency X wavelength
wave interference the phenomenon that occurs when two waves meet while traveling along the same medium
interference pattern the pattern formed by the superposition of different sets of waves that produces reinforcement in some places & cancellation in others
standing wave a stationary interference pattern formed in a medium when two sets of identical waves pass through the medium in opposite directions
Doppler effect the shift in received frequency due to the motion of a vibrating source toward or away from a receiver
bow wave the v-shaped disturbance created by an object moving across a liquid surface at a speed greater than the wave speed
shock wave the cone-shaped disturbance created by an object moving at supersonic speed through a fluid
sonic boom the loud sound that results from the incidence of a shock wave
pitch the highness or lowness of a tone; related to wave frequency
infrasonic describes a sound that has a frequency too low to be heard by humans
ultrasonic describes a sound that has a frequency to high to be heard by humans
compression a condensed region of the medium through which a longitudinal wave travels
rarefaction a rarefied (of reduced pressure) region of the medium through which a longitudinal wave travels
reverberation the persistence of sound, as in an echo, due to multiple reflections
refraction the bending of sound or any wave caused by a difference in wave speeds
forced vibration the setting up of vibrations in an object by a vibrating force
natural frequency the frequency at which an elastic object tends to vibrate when it is disturbed & the disturbing force is removed
resonance the response of a body when a forcing frequency matches its natural frequency
interference a result of superposing different waves, often of the same wavelength; constructive is crest-to-crest; destructive is crest-to-trough
beats a series of alternate reinforcements & cancellations produced by the interference of two waves of slightly different frequencies, heard as a throbbing effect in sound waves
intensity the power per square meter carried by a sound wave, often measured in decibels
loudness the physiological sensation directly related to sound intensity or volume
quality the characteristic sound of a musical instrument or voice, which is governed by the number & relative intensities of partial tones
partial tone a single-frequency component sound wave of a complex tone
fundamental frequency the lowest frequency of vibration, or first harmonic, in a musical tone
harmonic a partial tone whose frequency is an integer multiple of the fundamental frequency
Fourier analysis a mathematical method that disassembles any periodic waveform into a combination of simple sine waves
Created by: ginaliane