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Mechanical Waves and Sound

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Presentation on theme: "Mechanical Waves and Sound"— Presentation transcript:

1 Mechanical Waves and Sound
Physical Science

2 Mechanical Waves & Properties of Mechanical Waves


4 What are mechanical waves? What do you think waves carry?
Can you see waves? Examples?

5 Mechanical Waves Mechanical waves are disturbances in matter that carry energy from one place to another. Usually require matter through which to travel The matter a wave travels through is called a medium. Medium can be a solid, liquid, or gas Some waves can travel through space…with no medium!

6 How are mechanical waves created?

7 Creation of mechanical waves:
Need a source of energy! That energy causes a vibration to travel through the medium

8 Types of Mechanical Waves
Transverse: A wave that causes the medium to vibrate at right angles to the direction of the wave

9 Parts of a transverse wave:

10 Types of Mechanical Waves, ctd.
Transverse Longitudinal: A wave in which the vibration of the medium is parallel to the direction the wave travels

11 Parts of a longitudinal wave:

12 Remember! A wave doesn’t move the medium…it’s just energy traveling through the medium!

13 Transverse and Longitudinal Wave Which is which?


15 Types of Mechanical Waves, ctd.
Transverse Longitudinal Surface: A wave that travels along a surface separating two media


17 Period vs Frequency Period – (T) – The time it takes for one cycle (= how long?) Measured in seconds Frequency – (f) – The number of cycles in a given time (= how many?) Measured in Hertz (Hz)

18 Speed of a wave We find speed by distance divided by time.
The same holds true for waves! Speed of a wave = Wavelength/Period Speed of a wave = Wavelength*Frequency

19 Speed of a Wave The speed of a wave is constant within a medium.
The speed can change when a wave enters a new medium All waves of the same type travel at the same speed This means wavelength is inversely proportional to frequency! If the wavelength increases the frequency has to decrease! If the wavelength decreases the frequency has to increase!

20 Sound and Hearing

21 Properties of Sound Waves
What type of waves are sound waves?

22 Properties, ctd. Sounds behave in certain ways because of the properties of sound waves. Some properties are: Speed Intensity & Loudness Frequency & Pitch

23 Speed Speed of sound = 342 m/s …THAT’S 765 mph!
Sound speed varies, depending on medium Travel fastest in solids, slowest in gases Travel fastest in the most dense media

24 Intensity Intensity: the rate at which a wave’s energy flows through an area Sound intensity depends on Amplitude Distance from source Measured in decibels (dB)


26 Loudness Subjective! (This means it depends on the person who is hearing it.) Loudness is a personal, physical response to the intensity of sound. As intensity increases, so does loudness, but loudness also depends on the listener’s ears and brain.

27 Ultrasound Most people hear sounds between 20 and 20,000 Hz.
Infrasound – sound at frequencies lower than people usually hear Ultrasound – sound at frequencies higher than people usually hear Used in technologies such as sonar and ultrasound imaging

28 Ultrasound, ctd. Sonar – a technique used to determine the distance to an object under water. Ultrasound – medical technique used to take pictures of different organs (or a fetus!)

29 Hearing & the Ear Ear consists of 3 main parts
Outer Ear – gathers and focuses sound Middle Ear – receives and amplifies vibrations Inner Ear – uses nerve endings to sense vibrations and send signals to the brain


31 Behavior of Waves 17.3 Physical Science CIA

32 What happens when… A wave meets a hard surface like a wall?
A wave enters a new medium? A wave moves around an obstacle? A wave meets another wave?

33 A wave meets a hard surface like a wall?
Reflection A wave bounces off a surface that it can not pass through Reflection does not change the speed or frequency of the wave, BUT the wave can be flipped upside down!

34 How?

35 A wave enters a new medium?
Refraction The bending of a wave as it enters a new medium The wave bends because as it enters a new medium it either speeds up or slows down!

36 Refraction

37 Refraction

38 A wave moves around an obstacle?
Diffraction – the bending of a wave as it moves around an obstacle or passes through a narrow opening

39 Diffraction

40 A wave meets another wave?
Interference – when two or more waves overlap and combine together. Constructive Destructive

41 Constructive Interference
Two or more waves combine to produce a wave with a larger displacement

42 Destructive Interference
Two or more waves combine to produce a wave with a smaller displacement

43 Standing Waves Occur because of interference!
A standing wave is a wave that appears to stay in one place.

44 Parts of a Standing wave
Node – Where there is no displacement of the medium in a standing wave Antinode – Where there is maximum displacement of the medium in a standing wave

45 How do standing waves fit on a string?
Standing waves only form if a half a wavelength or a multiple of half a wavelength fits exactly into the length of a vibrating string

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