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Sound Waves

Tactile Devices Tactile devices: A boon for the hearing impaired The image shows the phone that would convert the deaf user’s typed words into spoken words. When the person on the other end speaks, the tactile devices converts their words into text, ensuring the privacy without any third party intervention, as observed generally in most of the cases. Such types of devices which can convert text to sound allows freedom for these users. Communication plays a major role in the life of human beings, therefore lets learn more about the sound waves which is the basis of human communication.

Learning objectives

After completing the topic, the student will be able to:

  • Discuss and explore the nature of sound waves, existing in our daily life.
  • Expand the concept of reflection, refraction of sound waves and investigate about the phenomenon of an echo with its relevant applications in sonar and radar and find the depth of an ocean.
  • Examine and explore the natural frequency, higher order harmonics of the object that produces the sound, resonance and its applications in daily life scenarios.
  • Discover and illustrate the concept of diffraction of sound waves and its applications in daily life situations.
  • Explain the phenomenon of Doppler effect and illustrate its importance by applying it to understand the working of ultrasound detection techniques in medical diagnosis etc.
  • Differentiate between the sounds of the musical Instruments based on the quality of the sound produced by them.
  • Discover how musical instruments produce sounds by examining the working of different instruments.
  • Analyze and investigate Fourier analysis of different waves of different frequencies and their applications.
Vibrations and sound Sound waves and water waves All waves can be thought of as a disturbance that transfers energy. Waves such as water waves and sound waves are formed through the vibration of particles. Water waves form because water molecules are disturbed, and sound waves are formed by the disturbance of air particles.
Introduction

The chirping of birds, music and the very basis of communication is "sound". We couldn't have expressed our thoughts and feelings but for our ability to understand, create and modify the language of "sound".

Have you ever touched a speaker when a song or movie is played? What do you feel? You feel certain vibrations. These vibrations are responsible for the sounds we hear. You can feel vibrations in your throat when you hum a music. Sounds are produced when an object vibrates.

Sound is the propagation of vibrations through a material medium - a solid, liquid or gas. if there is no medium to vibrate, then no sound is possible. Sound waves travel through air in much the same way as water waves travel through water. In fact, since water waves are easy to see and understand, they are often used as an analogy to illustrate how sound waves behave.

When a stone is dropped on the surface of water (say a lake or pond), ripples are created and travels like waves across the lake. However there is no bulk flow of water. The wave is not a bulk movement of water as such, but rather, a disturbance travelling on the surface of the lake. Likewise sound is a form of energy that travels in the form of vibrations (disturbance) through the air or any other medium.

(a) A good auditorium will accomplish effective projection of sound to the rear of the auditorium by architectural acoustics.
(b) SONAR is a technique that uses sound propagation to navigate, communicate or to detect objects under the surface of water.
Sound applications

One of the major applications of sound is "acoustics" - a branch of civil and architecture engineering. It is the science concerned with the production, control, transmission, reception, and effects of sound waves. Acoustic engineers study how a construction and human hearing are affected by the sound waves.

SONAR, a strategic technology used to identify the targets in a war, won the Second World War for its victors and still continues to be a powerful aid for naval defence strategists. The Navy does not only use sonar for this reason. Sonar is also useful to detect objects in the way of the ships. It is thus clear that understanding sound is important for an in–depth analysis of many fields. So, enrich and enliven your life with understanding of the “fundamental laws of sound”.

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