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Important Terms Chapter 26 Set #1. April 21, 2014. Important Concepts. Sound Transmission (What is Needed?) A source of vibration A Medium to transport the energy via compression and rarefaction (expansion) Types of Mediums: Solid, Liquid, Gas

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Important terms chapter 26 set 1

Important TermsChapter 26 Set #1

April 21, 2014

Important concepts
Important Concepts

  • Sound Transmission (What is Needed?)

    • A source of vibration

    • A Medium to transport the energy via compression and rarefaction (expansion)

    • Types of Mediums: Solid, Liquid, Gas

      • Solids: Metals, Wood, Rock (Steel, Iron, Brass)

      • Liquids: Water, Oil, Milk

      • Gases: Air, Nitrogen, Helium


  • Compression: A pulse of compressed air (air particles squeezed together) or other matter.

    The opposite of rarefaction.

  • Rarefaction: A disturbance in the air (or matter) in which the pressure is lowered.

    The opposite of compression.


  • Vibration: An oscillation, a repeating back and forth motion about an equilibrium.

  • Frequency: The number of events (cycles, vibrations, oscillations or any repeated event) per unit time measured in Hertz (or events per unit time)

  • Hertz: The SI unit of frequency, One hertz (Hz) ids one vibration (cycle) per second.

  • Pitch: The term that refers to how high or low in FREQUENCY a sound wave is.


  • Sonic: Sound waves that are between

    20 Hz and 20,00 Hz or the normal range of frequencies that the human ear can detect.

  • Infrasonic: Sound waves that are BELOW 20 Hz.

  • Ultrasonic: Sound waves that are ABOVE20,000 Hz.

  • Most people cannot hear sound below 20 Hz nor above 20,000 Hz but many animals can hear above 20 KHz.


  • Amplitude: The distance from the midpoint to

    the maximum (Crest or peak) of a wave or

    equivalently , from the midpoint to the

    minimum (trough or valley).

  • Loud or Soft: The terms that refer to the magnitude of the amplitude of a sound wave.

  • Sound Intensity: Proportional to the square of a sound’s amplitude


  • Forced Vibration: The act of deliberately causing an object to vibrate using the vibrations of another vibrating object as the stimulus. An instrument sounding board is an example.

  • Natural Frequency: A frequency at which an elastic object, once energized, will vibrate.

    Minimum energy is required to continue vibration at this frequency.

    It is also known as the Resonant Frequency


  • Resonance: The phenomenon when the frequency of a forced vibration on an object (excitation frequency) matches the object’s natural frequency resulting in a dramatic increase in wave amplitude.

  • Why? What is occurring?

  • Two waves are adding in-phase thereby adding constructively


  • Beats: A throbbing variation in the loudness of sound caused by interference when two tones of slightly different frequencies are sounded together.

  • The perceived frequency of the “throbbing” is known as the Beat Frequency.