Tech

This is Cool! Everything You Wanted to Know About Sound

The title of the post says it all. This comes WaitButWhy.com via Jim.

I’ve always been a little confused about sound. So for “Tuesday’s” “mini” post, I decided to do something about that.

We think of sound as something we hear—something that makes noise. But in pure physics terms, sound is just a vibration going through matter.

The way a vibration “goes through” matter is in the form of a sound wave. When you think of sound waves, you probably think of something like this:1

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But that’s not how sound waves work. A wave like that is called a transverse wave, where each individual particle moves up and down to create a snake situation.

A sound wave is more like an earthworm situation:2

Wait? An earthworm? Read on!

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38170 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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