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Sound

A stack of terms related to sound for Grade 11 Physics (SPH3U).

QuestionAnswer
sound a form of energy, produced by rapidly vibrating objects, that can be heard by the human ear
infrasonic any sound with a frequency lower than the threshold of human hearing (20 Hz)
ultrasonic any sound with a frequency higher than the threshold of human hearing (20 kHz)
sound intensity power of a sound per unit area in watts per metre squared
decibel (dB) unit used to measure sound intensity level
sonar system that uses transmitted and reflected underwater sound waves to locate objects or measure the distance to the bottom of the water body
echo reflected sound waves
echolocation location of objects through the analysis of reflected sound
beats periodic changes in sound intensity caused by interference between two nearly identical sound waves
beat frequency the number of beats heard per second in hertz
Doppler effect when a source of sound approaches an observer, the observed frequency increases; when the source moves away from an observer, the observed frequency decreases
subsonic speed speed less than the speed of sound in air
Mach number the ratio of the speed of an object to the speed of sound in air
supersonic speed speed greater than the speed of sound in air
sound barrier a high-pressure region produced as an airplane approaches a speed of Mach 1
sonic boom an explosive sound that radiates from an aircraft travelling at supersonic speeds
music sound that originates from a source with one or more constant frequencies
noise sound that originates from a source where the frequencies are not constant
consonance combinations of sounds of specific frequencies that are pleasing to the ear; the frequencies are often in a simple ratio
dissonance combinations of sounds of specific frequencies that have a harsh effect; the frequencies are not in a simple ratio
octave sounds that differ in frequency by a factor of two
fundamental mode simplest mode of vibration producing the lowest frequency
fundamental frequency the lowest natural frequency
harmonics whole-number multiples of the fundamental frequency
closed air column column closed at one end and open at the other
open air column column open at both ends
Created by: JP Brichta