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Science - what is sound

Sound is a type of energy made by vibrations When an object vibrates, it causes movement in surrounding air molecules. These molecules bump into the molecules close to them, causing them to vibrate as well.

SECTION 01- rough summary of sound

  • vibrate- moving continuously and rapidly
  • molecules-one or more atom
  • energy-ability to do work/a conserved quantity
  • surrounding- around a particular place
  • bump - hit/ collide
  • frequency-number of sound waves produced
  • pitch- how high or low a sound is
  • decibel-unit of loudness
  • amplitude-energy needed to make a louder sound

words you need to know:

key words:

How do we hear

For a sound to be heard you need three things:A vibrating objectA material for the sound wave to travel through, such as air (we call this a medium)Something to detect the sound e.g. your ear sound can not travel through a vacum for example sound waves can't travel through space as there are no atoms or molecules for the waves to pass through. As sond is essentially just vibrating air in space there is no air to vibrate therefore no sound.

How we hear:a sound wave is funnelled into the ear canal by the pinnathe vibrations in the air make the eardrum vibratethese vibrations are passed through the three small bones (called ossicles) to a spiral structure called the cochleaelectrical nerve signals are passed from the cochlea to the brain through the auditory nerveour brain interprets these signals as sound

  • a high frequency sound wave has a high pitch;
  • a low frequency sound wave has a low pitch.
  • The amplitude of a sound wave is related to the volume of the sound:
large amplitude sound waves are loud;small amplitude sound waves are quiet.Amplitude and frequency can be displayed on an oscilloscope connected to a microphone

Properties of sound