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Research project

Sound

Student: Tal Hollander


Teacher: Mrs. Yona
Due date: 10.5.09
Table of contents:

What is sound?..................................................................................................................p.

How do you create and detect sound?...............................................................................p.

What can sound travel through?.......................................................................................p.

Speed of sound..................................................................................................................p.

Acoustics and echoes........................................................................................................p.

Conclusion........................................................................................................................p.

Bibliography.....................................................................................................................p.

Appendix..........................................................................................................................p.

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What is sound?

Sound is a form of energy, a compression waveform created by a vibration of an object.

This is a way to prove it: if you gently touch your neck with a few fingers and say

something you will feel a movement, a vibration of your vocal cords. When your vocal

chords vibrate, they make sound waves.

How do you create and detect sound?

Sound is created by vibrations and compression of sound waves in the air. For example:

musical instruments, when hitting a drum head or plucking a string of a guitar there are

vibrations moving back and forth, those vibrations create sound.

One way we detect sound is through our ear drums. After the sound waves hit our ear

drums; it is caught by nerves in the body so that you can actually sense the sound waves.

Another way we detect sound is by vibrations of our body. If you stand near by a speaker

or a subwoofer (a special bass speaker) you will feel a movement, this is a type of sound

called bass. In music, bass fills out all the missing sounds.

There are many devices as well that detect sounds, such as microphones, hearing aids,

earphones, condensers, mixers, sound cards, guitar pickups and many other devices. All

these devices transmit the sounds into an electrical signal. Microphones today work on a

little membrane they insert into the microphone, the membrane picks up the vibrations

and compresses them into an electrical signal.

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What can sound travel through?

Sound can travel through almost anything, from water to iron. But sound is not able to

travel through a vacuum, which means that only under the atmosphere there is sound. In

outer space, when a spaceship blows up or a planet/star explodes, it is impossible to hear

the explosion because of the vacuum and lack of atoms in space; it’s only possible to see

it. Without atoms and molecules, the sound has nothing to travel through. In space there

are molecules and atoms but they are spaced out, so they can’t send a signal to each other

(the signal are the sound waves).

Speed of sound

Speed can change within the temperature of the air, it can travel approximately 770 miles

per hour in a room temperature of 20c. If the temperature of the air is colder, the sound

travels slower.

Acoustics and echoes

Echoes are sounds that bounce and reflect off of certain objects. If the object, for

example: a wall or floor has a flat and hard surface, the sounds hitting them will reflect

back and cause an echo. There are many materials that soak and prevent these extra

sounds and echoes, such as carpets, sponges, mattresses, and so on. There are special

acoustic rooms designed to prevent these echoes, these rooms are used mostly for

recording music.

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Hearing and catching sound waves:

Hearing is one of the 5 common senses. We all need to hear so that we can respond and

react to things around you. To hear sound, your ear has to do three basic things:

• Direct the sound waves into the hearing part of the ear.

• Sense the fluctuations in air pressure.

• Translate these fluctuations into an electrical signal that your brain can

understand.

The pinna is the outer part of the ear; its job is to catch the sounds in the air. It is circular

so that the sound gets sensed by the ear and sent through the ear canal to the ear drum.

The ear drum is shaped like a little cone so that it can catch the vibrations and send it to

the brain.

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Conclusion:

This research project has taught me many things about writing a paper, and of course

about sound. As a musician, I love the topic of the work and it taught me so many things I

had never known before. I was never really interested in science, until I found this topic,

a topic connected to music and science. As a musician, it is very important to learn and

know about sound.

Bibliography:

http://health.howstuffworks.com/hearing1.htm

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Appendix:

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Guitar pickups
Sound waves

Condenser

Vocal microphone

Acoustic room (music studio)

The human ear


Drum microphone

Subwoofer speaker

Instrument condenser