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Chapter 17

Sound Waves

Dr. Jie Zou

PHY 1371

Speed of sound waves Periodic sound waves Intensity of periodic sound waves

Dr. Jie Zou

PHY 1371

Sound waves in general

Sound waves in air are longitudinal waves. Sound waves travel through material media. Speed of sound waves depend on the properties of the medium. As the waves travel, the particles in the medium vibrate to produce changes in density and pressure. Categories of sound waves (frequency ranges):
Audible waves: within the range of sensitivity of the human ear Infrasonic waves: below the audible range Ultrasonic waves: above the audible range
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Speed of sound waves

The speed of sound waves depends on the compressibility and inertia of the medium. If the medium has a bulk modulus B and density , the speed of sound waves in that B medium is

The speed of all mechanical waves follows an expression of the general form elastic property
v= inertial property

The speed of sound depends on temperature. For sound traveling through air
Dr. Jie Zou PHY 1371

v = (331m/s) 1 +

TC 273C

Periodic sound waves

Example: Sinusoidally oscillating piston. One-dimensional sinusoidal sound wave in a tube containing gas. Condensations: Compressed regions. Rarefactions: Low-pressure regions.

The distance between two successive condensations (or rarefactions) equals the wavelength .
Dr. Jie Zou PHY 1371

Both the condensation and rarefactions propagate along the tube with a speed equal to the speed of sound in the medium. Any small volume of the medium moves with simple harmonic motion parallel to the direction of the wave-longitudinal wave.

Displacement wave and pressure wave

Displacement of a small volume element of the medium (gas) from its equilibrium position s(x,t) = smaxcos(kx - t)
smax : displacement amplitude k: wavenumber : angular frequency of the piston Here, displacement s is along x longitudinal wave.

Pressure variation P = Pmaxsin(kx - t)

Pmax: Pressure amplitude, the maximum change in pressure from the equilibrium value, Pmax= vsmax (see derivation next) A sound wave may be considered either as a displacement wave or a pressure wave, which are 90 out of phase with each other.
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Dr. Jie Zou

Derivation of the pressure variation equation

From the definition of bulk modulus
P = B
x A x+x x

x s s+s
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V Vi The volume of gas Vi = Ax. The change in the volume due to a change in pressure V = As = A[s(x+ x) s(x)]. s As x0, s/x s/x, and P = B . x Since s(x,t) = smaxcos(kx - t), P = Bksmaxsin(kx - t). Replace B with B = v2 and use k = /v, the pressure variation is P = v smaxsin(kx - t), with Pmax = v smax. Derivation completed.
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Intensity of periodic sound waves

Intensity I of a wave: The power per unit area, or the rate at which the energy being transported by the wave flows through a unit area A perpendicular to the direction of travel of the wave, or I = P/A. The amount of energy that passes by a given point during one period of oscillation is E = (1/2)A(smax)2 (see derivation). Hence, power P=E /T= (1/2)Av(smax)2. Intensity I = P/A = (1/2)v(smax)2. Using Pmax = v smax, I = (Pmax)2/(2 v). The intensity of a periodic sound wave
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P: Rate of energy transfer or power.

Example 17.3
The faintest sounds the human ear can detect at a frequency of 1000 Hz corresponds to an intensity of about 1.00 x 10-12 W/m2the so-called threshold of hearing. The loudest sounds the ear can tolerate at this frequency corresponds to an intensity of about 1.00 W/m2 - threshold of pain. Find the pressure amplitude and displacement amplitude associated with these two limits.
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Example 16.4
The string is driven at a frequency of 5.00 Hz. The amplitude of the motion is 12.0 cm, and the wave speed is 20.0 m/s. Determine the angular frequency and angular wave number k for the wave, and write an expression for the wave function.
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Homework #2
Ch. 17, P. 537, Problems: #6, 9, 10, 16, 20.

Dr. Jie Zou

PHY 1371