Basic Acoustics Robert Mannell These notes are divided into two parts.

The first part, or main body of the notes, provides some basic information on acoustics. This is supplemented by explanatory footnotes which contain extra information which might aid in your understanding of the main text. The second part of these notes are the appendices which contain detailed information that you might wish to examine if you are interested. These notes do not attempt to cover basic issues such as the nature of sound itself. During the lectures you will be referred to various references that should ade uately cover such topics. These notes particularly focus on sound !amplitude!, the velocity of sound, basic units and measurements of sound and the calculation of resonant fre uencies. "#M$ %#T$" #% T$RM&%#'#() &f you choose to read about these topics further in other publications, be especially careful about terminology as it tends to vary somewhat from one text to another. &n this course & have chosen to use the word !AM*'&T+D$! when referring generically to the concept that includes *ower, &ntensity and *ressure ,-.. &t is common for engineers to tal/ about !*#0$R! when discussing sound amplitude. *hysicists will tell you that *ower is the total wor/ done per second by a sound source. 0hat the engineers are often referring to when they use the word !power!, however, is acoustic !&%T$%"&T)! or power per unit area ,ie. per s uare metre.. The terms !power! and !intensity! are used interchangeably by many authors. 1or this course we will use the term !intensity! in preference to the term !power! unless we are explicitly discussing the total acoustic power output of a sound source. 0hat is measured directly at a microphone diaphragm is !*R$""+R$! or !"#+%D *R$""+R$ '$2$'! ,"*'. which is a measure of the slight fluctuations in the ambient pressure of the medium ,eg. air. through which the sound is being conducted ,3.. #nce you have derived a pressure value you can then mathematically convert that into an intensity value. &n these notes the following symbols have been used45 *ower *wr &ntensity & *ressure * "ound *ressure 'evel "*'

B$0AR$4 &t is very common to find the symbol !*! referring to !*ower! in many publications. Be -667 sure as to whether !*! refers to *ower or *ressure in any publication you are reading. This is particularly important when engineers use !*ower! to refer to !&ntensity! and so use the symbol !*! instead of !&! in their formulae. This usage has the potential to greatly confuse you, especially in dB formulae ,ie. what is really an &ntensity5to5dB formula may seem to you to be a *ressure5to5dB formula..

A8#+"T&8 +%&T" #1 M$A"+R$M$%T,9. The main units of measurement of relevance to acoustics are as follows ,described in detail elsewhere.45

%ame -. 0avelength ,.4 3. 1re uency ,f.4 metre ;ert< /ilo;e rt< second millise cond metre>s ec 0att 0att>s .m. *ascal micro* ascal

Abbrevia tion m ;< /;< s ms m>s 0 0>m3 *a C*a ,u*a.

Basic +nits ,:. m s5-

,non5Basic +nits.

,cycles.s5-. ,=. ,-666.s5-. ,-659.s.

9. *eriod ,T.4 :. "peed of sound ,c.4 ?. Acoustic *ower ,*wr.4 A. Acoustic &ntensity ,&.4 B. "ound *ressure ,*, "*'.4

s m.s5/g.m3.s59 /g.s59 /g.m5-.s53

,@oule.s5-. ,@oule.s5-.m53. ,%ewton.m53. ,-65A.*a.

0A2$'$%(T;, *$R&#D, 1R$D+$%8) A%D T;$ "*$$D #1 "#+%D ,?.4 D$1&%&T&#%" A%D 8#%2$R"&#%" The wavelength ,. of a wave is the distance between successive wave fronts ,ie. pea/5 to5pea/ distance.. 0avelength is measured in metres ,m.. The fre uency ,f. of a wave is the number of times per second that a complete wave cycle passes an observer. 1re uency is measured in ;ert< ,;<. Eor >second ,s5-. in basic unitsF. The period ,T. of a wave is the time it ta/es for one wave cycle to pass an observer. The period is measured in seconds ,s. ,in speech milliseconds ,ms. are commonly used. The speed or velocity of sound ,c. is the number of metres that a wave front can travel in a second. The speed of sound is measured in metres>second ,m.s5-. 1rom the above it can be seen that the period and fre uency of a wave are the inverse of each other45 Before ma/ing such calculations be sure that the values are in ;< and seconds. Milliseconds ,ms. can be converted to seconds by dividing by -666. Gilo;ert< ,/;<. can be converted to ;< by multiplying by -666. $xamples4 i. 8alculate the period of a wave that has a fre uency of - /;<. ,convert to -666 ;<. T H - > -666 H -659 s , H - ms . ii. 8alculate the fre uency of a wave with a period of -6 ms. ,convert4 -6>-666 H 6.6- s. f H - > 6.6- H -66 ;< &t is possible to calculate the fre uency of a wave if you /now its wavelength and the speed of sound. 8onversely, you can calculate the wavelength of a wave from its

to simplify calculations. owing to the very much lower density of helium when compared to nitrogen .T. &n the case of speech in . and helium>oxygen ..slightly denser than air. The speed of sound is proportional to the temperature and inversely proportional to the density of the gas through which it travels45 where4 is the Absolute temperature in IG is the density of the gas . . pressure and 6I8 the speed of sound in air is 99.say4 5?6I8 to J:?I8...pitch.approximately doubled. "peech sounds are normally transmitted through gases and this is almost always normal air. 1or the purposes of this course. 8hange in the speed of sound resulting from changes in temperature can be derived from the following formula45 . the speed of sound in li uids and solids will be ignored.the gas normally found with oxygen in air. fre uencies are shifted to much higher values .fre uency and the speed of sound. if the speed of sound increases the fre uency of a sound emanating from a resonator will increase.eliox mixtures depends upon the ratio of helium to oxygen. to give the speech of deep sea divers a !chipmun/! sound.s5.usually in medical applications. &t should be clear from this that if the speed of sound changes then there will be a change in the apparent resonant characteristics of a resonator. has a speed of sound which is slightly lower than for normal air.formant."imilarly. &t should also be clear that as temperature increases then so will the speed of sound. but is around twice the speed of sound in normal air. for period . mixtures used in deep sea diving. only results in moderate changes in the speed of sound.. The speed of sound varies greatly from one medium to another.so that the speed of sound can be uoted as travelling . whilst the speed of sound in . the fundamental fre uency .such as the vocal tract.Gm in 9 seconds. when the speed of sound is changed the apparent resonant characteristics of sounds emitted by an acoustic resonator . or rounded up to 999.s5-.eliox. At .m. As we saw above. 1or example..eliox mixtures is considerably higher than for normal air.669A? 0hat this means is that the effect of temperature change on the speed of sound within temperature ranges at which speech is normally uttered .. 6I8 H 3B9IG. The only other gases in which a speech researcher might encounter speech is in pure oxygen .atm. &t is most important to note that temperature is Absolute Temperature in G and so the ratio of45 3I8 > -I8 3 Rather 3B?G > 3B:G H -. are changed. *ure oxygen . . This value is sometimes rounded down to 996 m. and resonant pea/ .eliox. The exact speed of sound in .

"tandard Reference "ound *ressure 'evel nb. This approximation has been adopted as the definition of the standard measure of air pressure. the actual threshold of hearing varies greatly from fre uency to fre uency as well as from person to person.IG.the main artificial transducer of sound.DB. These two reference values have been rounded off and so do not describe precisely the same sound. The threshold of pain .666 times the threshold sound pressure.*-.ie..K.and .*->*3. . ->?.B.. the threshold of hearing for a -666 . This unit of measurement is is e uivalent to . is ta/en to be .666.ie.atm and 36I845 & .. *.IG.6-9 x -6? *a The sound pressure that is only Lust perceivable .in a barometer. -KA6. which would result in perceivable differences in the fre uency of the same sound.666.666. at 6I8 under standard gravity.< tone. of condition and c3 and 3 are the speed of sound in and temperature .atm -. & *3 The following is approximately true for sound travelling through air at . "#+%D !AM*'&T+D$! The human ear and the microphone ..1echner. . &t was noted many years ago . over the intensity of sound M3 .& 3.m53 "tandard Reference "ound &ntensity The intensity of a sound.. &nitially.is the sound pressure of a sound when that soundNs intensity is & -.m53. but they are very close. over the sound pressure of sound M3 .ie. &t was believed then that the earNs sensitivity to sound intensity or sound pressure was an approximately logarithmic relationship.c. that the sensitivity of the ear to changes in intensity was not related linearly to either intensity or pressure.666. the maximum sound pressure that can be perceived without pain.A. which is ?.&-.ie.<. &t is common to uote sound pressure in C*a as this measure is almost of the same order of magnitude as the minimum perceivable sound pressures. e uals the s uare of the ratio of the sound pressure of sound M. with a sound pressure level of 36 C*a. The intensity of a sound is proportional to the s uare of the sound pressure. c at 5?6I8 is K:7 of c at J:?I8.This value is actually a better approximation of threshold at 9366 . both measure the tiny changes in pressure that result from the passage of a longitudinal wave through a medium.*>36. %ote that the actual sound pressure involved is about 3 x -65-6 times .45 . &->&3 H . atmospheric pressure.45 -65-3 0atts.45 3 x -65? *a .3 The ratio of the intensity of sound M.nb. . is about -66 *a or about ->-666 atm. is very close to -65-3 0atts.3 D$8&B$'" .are the speed of sound in and temperature .* 3."ee appendix A for a further example. Thresholds have also been defined in terms of intensity. The average air pressure at sea level is approximately e uivalent to the pressure exerted by a column of mercury BA cm high . it was proposed that a new measure of intensity be where .. and * 3 is the sound pressure of a sound when that soundNs intensity is & 3. with the standard intensity threshold of hearing being .atmosphere . 36 C*a. of condition 3 1or example. .atm.

*>*6. %ote that it is common to refer to dB values as !&ntensity in dB! .*>*6.&->&3.&>&6. H 36 x log-6. H 36 x log-6. &f *3 is set to a standard reference sound pressure then dB measurements become readily comparable from one publication to another. .&'.base -6.&>&6. This is usually indicated in one of the following ways45 dB .Bel H -6 dB "o that45 dB H -6 x log-6 . and is indicated by the symbol !*6!.. &t is conventional to indicate whether dB was calculated from intensity or pressure mainly because of the slight difference in the reference levels . .m53 . dB .see previous page. to indicate that the dB value has been determined from the ratio of the soundNs intensity to the standard reference intensity. Bel .dB. The usual reference level chosen is the "tandard Reference "ound &ntensity of -65-3 0atts. to indicate that the dB value has been determined from the ratio of the soundNs sound pressure level to the standard reference sound pressure. A step of .at intensities louder than a whisper. of the ratio of two intensities.utilised which was derived from the log .. 1or example.conveniently."*'4 refH36C*a.refH-65-30.&>&6. dB .O. H 36 x log-6. so that e ual steps in Bels were close to e ual perceptual steps.&'.m53. dB . "uch dB values are referred to as dB .dB H 6.m53. Another important thing to /now about deciBels is how to interpret values of different dB relative to each other. as this is the way sound amplitude is measured by a microphone. The symbol dB without one of the ualifiers listed above could imply that any pressure or intensity has been used as the reference. and is indicated by the symbol !&6!."*'. . dB .see previous page.*.. The usual reference level chosen is the "tandard Reference "ound *ressure of 36C*a . "uch dB values are referred to as dB . dB can be calculated from the ratio of any two sound pressures .which could result in significant differences in the resultant dB value for very low test intensities and pressures. . dB .&->&3. H -6 x log-6 . H -6 x log-6. dB . dB . H -6 x log-6.whether derived from intensity or sound pressure. H 36 x log-6..refH36C*a. 8onversely.Bel or .m53. H -6 x log-6.45 dB H 36 x log-6. was approximately linearly related to the earNs sensitivity to sound intensity . H log-6 . &f &3 is set to a standard reference intensity then dB measurements become readily comparable from one publication to another.&>&6. the deciBel .*>*6. As with intensity.*->*3.*>*6.Bel was however about -6 times greater than the minimally perceivable step and so a new scale was devised.&'4 refH-65-3 0.named after Alexander (raham Bell."*'4 refH36C*a..&'. a AdB fall implies a halving of sound pressure whilst a 9dB fall implies a halving of sound intensity."*'. The Bel scale . a AdB rise implies a doubling of sound pressure whilst a 9dB rise implies a doubling of intensity. DeciBel values can also be derived directly from sound pressure .&'4 refH-65-30.-6.and *3.

Add together the derived intensity values45 & H &. doubling a sound results in an increase of 9 dB since the ratio of the new intensity to the old intensity is 3>.pressure in the first case and intensity in the second case.. "ince4 dB H -6 x log-6.are added together . Pie.remembering to utilise the same reference &6 H that was used in the first calculation. 0hen adding together two sounds of the same dB value. the calculations M+"T be performed on intensities. 0hen two identical sounds are added together.:-:.J *.36 x log-6. "ome tric/s that may simplify dB calculations i. never on sound pressures or dB values . as outlined in the previous section.except for a small number of exceptions. ii. 1urther. 8onvert the intensity bac/ to dB .-. This procedure can be simply extended to deal with the addition of more than 3 sounds or the subtraction of one sound from another.3>-. when adding together two sounds45 dB4 dB.&'. -6 x log-6. it doesnNt matter whether the dB values were derived from &' or "*'.dB>-6.J &3 iii. H AdB . thus again removing &6 from the calculation.H . as in the following example where two sounds of * H .?>-. H 59dB . 1or example.&.H 3 x &#nly the addition or multiplication of intensities results in a correct answer. then &->&6 H -6. convert to intensities by s uaring.J &.?>-. 36 x log-6. and only when you are 2$R) clear about what you are doing.H -.--.&->&6. H 9dB .3Q.:-: H s uare root of 3. 8onvert both dB values to intensity .45 &f you are as/ed to add together two sounds with /nown dB values and to determine the resultant amplitude in dB you must follow this procedure45i. This gives45 &. To add together two sound pressures.6.:-: x *.dB>-6.nb.H -6.J dB.?>-! implies that the new value is half the old value.J *.H dB. simply add 9 dB .45 dB H -6 x log-6. "ince & *3 then the doubling of intensity only results in an increase in pressure by -.:-:>-. This formula can be simplified by arbitrarily assuming &6 H -.. add the s uares together and the ta/e the s uare root of the result..6. All calculations should be carried out on sound intensities.3 x dB*ressure4 *."*'. 3>.J dB.J 9 *ressure4 *. is twice the old value and !6."*'.-.&'. where !3>-! implies that the new value . H 5AdB . -6 x log-6.3>-.and this results in a value of J9 dB. ADD&%( #R "+BTRA8T&%( T0# DB #R "#+%D *R$""+R$ 2A'+$" )ou must be very careful when doing arithmetic on sound amplitudes. &n all cases the !old! value here is e ual to -. the effect on dB and * values is as follows45 dB4 dB.3 x *&ntensity4 &.

Dividing intensity by four is the same as halving twice.. This is because pressures cannot be added together in a straightforward way but must be first converted to intensities.".$ "D+AR$" #1 . etc.$ "D+AR$"! by the number of values .ie.RM". The third column is the s uare of the pressure value.T.6666: dB .T. The second column is the actual pressure value ..%H?. on the other hand. so add 9 dB twice. n *n *n3 9 O 3 3 : . the resultant value is between dB . That is for two sounds of dB. pressure values. average of a set of five . this line refers to the -st. simply subtract 9 dB iv. the R. vi.M. ?6 dB J ?6 dB H ?9 dB ?6 dB J :B dB H ?-.$ A2$RA($ #1 . value is the45 "D+AR$ R##T #1 .T. 0hen doubling intensity.".dividing by 363 would convert it to standard units but this is unnecessary as the 36 3 factor would be cancelled out in the later reconversion to pressure. iii. 0hen halving intensity. &n other words. The new value is only e ual to dB-J9 when dB3 exactly e uals dB-.$ #R&(&%A' *R$""+R$ 2A'+$". 0hen adding together two sounds the resultant dB value is somewhere between the higher original dB value and 9 dB above that value. eg.and dB -J9. v. Therefore. &t must be remembered that45 & *3 This implies that s uaring * will effectively convert it into an intensity value of arbitrary units .%H?. simply add 9 dB . method is the only valid way to determine the !average! sound pressure of a length of speech signal. *3H3. The first column indicates the value of !n! . value which is calculated by dividing the !"+M #1 T.M.". so subtract 9 dB twice.. .T. The Ath line of the 9rd column is the sum of the s uared values.and dB 3 .$ "+M #1 .where the higher value is dB-. Multiplying intensity by four is the same as doubling twice..nb. 3nd. be derived as a simple mean or average45 The table below demonstrates how to calculate the R.K dB ?6 dB J :6 dB H ?6.ii.: dB ?6 dB J 36 dB H ?6.66: dB ?6 dB J 6 dB H ?6. A2$RA($ #1 "#+%D *R$""+R$ The R. same as i.M.. 6 dB is not & H 6..eg.. The Bth line is the R. the following formula can be used for the calculation of average pressure45 Average intensity can.. ?th pressure value. and then ta/ing the s uare root of the result.". R##T M$A% "D+AR$D .ie. &f your result is outside this range then your calculations are wrong.M. . etc.

?. The acoustic intensity. D. A8#+"T&8 &%T$%"&T) A%D T. &f the sound pressure at a certain distance from a soundNs source is 3? *a. &f the intensity at a certain distance from a soundNs source is 36 0. or average rate at which wor/ is being transferred through a unit area .. what is the sound pressure if the distance is increased five5fold .r->r3. &3 H &. where45 where45 ..->3. what is the intensity if the distance is increased five5fold ..->?.3 H 36 x .from the source &3 the intensity of the same sound at distance r3 from the source.Pr3>r-Q H ?. +se the following formula45 &.-3. then the new intensity &3 is .Pr3>r-Q H ->?.m53 &t can also be readily shown that45 "o.->R. diminishes with distance in accordance with the inverse s uare law.3 and so the value of &3 is simply &-multiplied by . &f you are as/ed the effect of increasing the distance by multiplying by a factor of R. so Pr->r3Q H ->?. *3 H *.->R. & the intensity of a sound r the distance from the source of the sound 1or the purposes of this course. 1or example.x . &3 H &.3. A..m53 D.and pressures.on the surface of the spherical wave front radiating out from the source in all directions.m53.r->r3. A. &f the intensity at a certain distance from a soundNs source is 3? 0.Pr3>r-Q H ?.x .3A>?.3 H 36 x . H ? *a. H . we are mostly interested in comparing intensities .from the sound source.although we divide the intensity by four.9 : ? *n3 *RM" 6 53 59 6 : O 3A .0. H 3? x . H ?66 0. so Pr->r3Q H ?.$ &%2$R"$ "D+AR$ 'A0 .->3?.->?. what is the intensity if the distance is decreased by one fifth . )ou donNt need to /now what the actual distances are if the distances are referred to in any uestion as a ratio because the above e uation is expressed as a ratio of 3 distances and of 3 intensities.r->r3.3 H 3? x . D.m53. the ratio on the right hand side of the last e uation becomes .3?.3 or ->: times the old intensity &-.3 H 3? x .the intensity of a sound at distance r. if we double the distance from the source we only halve the sound pressure . if the new distance r3 is twice the old distance r. at varying distances from the sound source. A.x . so Pr->r3Q H ->?.

At distance 3m only K lines pass through an arc of length ' and the -A lines now pass through an arc of length 3'. &n this diagram e ual amounts of sound intensity are represented by each of the radial lines.simulates the e uivalent of the inverse s uare law in a 3 dimensional universe.ie. 1igure .1igure -4 A two dimensional simulation of the inverse s uare law. This means that in a 3 dimensional universe sound intensity halves every time distance from the source is doubled .. an inverse law rather than an inverse s uare law. At distance -m -A lines pass through an arc of length '. .

1igure 3 simulates the inverse s uare law in a 9 dimensional universe. &n this diagram the s uares represent areas on the surface of a sphere at a distance R from a sound source in the centre of the sphere.and indicate the points at which -666 lines . .1igure 34 A three dimensional simulation of the inverse s uare law at distance R.of sound intensity. pass through the -66 unit sided s uare on the surface of the sphere. The dots are the e uivalent of the lines in figure .

&n this diagram the s uares represent areas on the surface of a sphere at a distance 3R from a sound source in the centre of the sphere.ie.. This is one uarter the number of intensity lines that pass through the -66 unit sided s uare at half this distance . %ote.1igure 94 A three dimensional simulation of the inverse s uare law at distance 3R. however that only 3?6 intensity lines pass through the inner -66 unit sided s uare. The dots are the e uivalent of the lines in figure . At twice the distance the length of each side of the s uare containing a fixed measure of sound intensity has doubled . the si<e of the s uare has increased by :. &n other words.such as the area of the earNs tympanic membrane or the area of the . from the central sound source. sound intensity diminishes in accordance with the inverse s uare law for a fixed surface area . pass through the 366 unit sided s uare on the surface of the sphere. 1igure 9 simulates the inverse s uare law in a 9 dimensional universe.of sound intensity.and indicate the points at which -666 lines . "ince each of the sides of this s uare doubles with a doubling of the distance from the centre.as happened for the arcs in the the 3 dimensional world in figure -. at distance R.

$ D#**'$R $11$8T 0hen both a sound source . T. are stationary.#. it ta/es longer for each cycle pea/ to reach .transducer surface of a microphone.#.". and an observer . and moving observer . The concentric circles represent the cycle pea/s of the radiating sound waves.ie. The reverse occurs when the observer is moving away from the sound . #Ns ear intersects with each cycle pea/ more rapidly than would be predicted from the wavelength and the speed of sound. 1igure -4 &llustration of the doppler effect with stationary sound source . is moving towards a sound source .. the fre uency observed by # can be readily determined from the wavelength of the sound emitted by " and the speed of sound according to the following formula. 0hen an observer ...". This has the same effect as would an increase in the speed of sound. That is. there is an increase in the observed fre uency of the sound.#.".

and stationary observer . 1##T%#T$" -. Reducing the wavelength increases the observed fre uency of the sound. The reverse is true for an observer that the sound source .."..ie.#Ns ear and so the observed fre uency is lower.". each wave cycle is initiated a bit closer to # than was the preceding cycle. 0hen a sound source . 1igure 34 &llustration of the doppler effect with moving sound source . !sound pressure level! 5 "*'. is moving towards an observer . the observed fre uency of the sound can be more easily determined by adding 2s to c when " is moving towards # and by subtracting 2s from c when " is moving away from #..". &n these cases the effective speed of sound can be determined by adding 2o to c when # is moving towards the sound and by subtracting 2o from c when # is moving away from the sound.%ote that whilst this actually effects the soundNs effective wavelength. "ome authors seem to use the term !amplitude! as a synonym of !pressure! .#. #ther seem to use the term both generically and as a synonym for !sound pressure!. This has the effect of reducing the wavelength in the direction that " is moving..and "3 represent the position of the source at the time of the propagation of the B wave cycles represented by the B circles. is moving directly away from. &n this diagram the B dots between ". .#. .

. that are assumed for this course. A**$%D&R "cientific %otation "cientific notation is used to ma/e very large or very small numbers more manageable.666 H ?.:96. "ee the next section on RM" for more details.H -65. "ee appendix A for a detailed explanation of the speed of sound in different media and conditions. Threshold sound pressure level is 3 x -65: dynes. -3. This material is supplied for thosestudents who wish to have a more detailed /nowledge of general acoustics over and above the re uirements of this course..s59 whilst the dB is not. and mass .second s. --.ie. R5)->R). &ntensity /g. The basic units of length . -6. Threshold acoustic intensity level is -65-A 0atts. Appendices &n the following appendices you will find detailed information that supplements the material supplied in the main body.666.666. -. "ee appendix ? for the derivation of the formula for calculating dB from sound pressure level. &n these notes the MG" system of measurement is used. ?. .6-9 x -6A dynes. A.atmosphere H -. 9.nb. scientific notation and logarithms. :.3.cm53 in the 8(" system K. The vibrating air particles cause the microphone diaphragm to move in and out and sound pressure can be determined if the acceleration of the diaphragm is measured and the mass and area of the diaphragm are /nown.:9 x -6A -6 H -6H -66 6 H 6 6.. and so is not made up of basic units of measurement .cm53 in the 8(" system B. "ee appendix B for further information on the inverse s uare law.666 H -6A 3. Microphones can be calibrated so that "*' can be measured directly. time . including derivations of the formulae.$ A**$%D&8$".666 H 3 x -6A ?. form the basis of most other units of measurement and of all common acoustic units of measurements.metre m.cm53 in the 8(" system O..666 H -6: -. &" #%') 1#+%D &% T. and this is described in these appendices. The first two appendices explain basic concepts . &n many older publications you may find reference to the now discarded 8(" system of units and even to the British &mperial system of units. The principle is described below by example./ilogram /g. )#+ 0&'' %#T B$ $RAM&%$D #% A%) MAT$R&A' 0. This is not strictly correct as the dB is a ratio.ie. "ee appendix 9 and appendix : for detailed descriptions of the Basic *hysical +nits of Measurement and specifically of the units of measurement of particular relevance to acoustics.666 H -69 -6. The 8(" system is also described in the appendices.&8.

6. J log-6. "econds.: x -65: A**$%D&R 3 'ogarithms The two most common types of logarithm are !natural! logarithms .AB.A>B. log-6. still come across 8(" units in various boo/s and articles on acoustics and so the various 8(" measurements will also be listed below.6669: H H H -65: 9 x -65: 9.g. &f -6A H B then log-6B H A &n other words. and base -6 logarithms. Time second . but not all. other physical measurements are made up of some combination of these three basic units of mass .s. B x log-6A A**$%D&R 9 Basic *hysical +nits of Measurement There are two main metric systems of measurement based on the choice of the basic units which ma/e them up45 MG" . determining a logarithm as/s to what exponent the value -6 must be raised in order for the result to e ual the value B.m. log-6. second .666 H 9 log-63 H 6. Most..sec. . gram .A.B. Area .. log-6A 5 log-6B log-6.'3. which has been gradually phased out over the past ?6 years and which was based on the basic units45 1*" .eg. The MG" system has now been recognised as the international system for science and has also been increasingly adopted for day5to5day use. Gilograms.M. log-6-66 H 3 log-6-./g. (rams. metre .9 log-63.666 H 9. #%') T.Metres..A x B.1eet. log-6-.8entimetre. length . #nly base -6 logarithms are of interest in this course as they form the basis of the deciBel.cm. log-6. )ou will. There is also the British &mperial system.6666.&" 8#+R"$. 8(" .sec.6669 6. "econds.666 x 3. "econds.-.base e. *ounds.666 J log-63. and time .9 %ote that45 log-6. however.'. centimetre .T. m3 cm3 .s. &% T.$ MG" ")"T$M &" +"$D MG" 8(" Mass 'ength /ilogram .

s5cm.0.'53. m. or 'T Distance travelled per unit time.M'T53 M x acceleration. x ' PM'T53.1.s5.1.or decelerate. dyne n as . 0or/ ..s59 @oule.m3.cm5 or 3.cm3.s53 cm.2olume .0att 0att ..cm53 -6:0att. by a force .cm.%.s53 1orce .'Q.M'3T53 force .. /g.MT59 power>area PM'3T59. Rate at which velocity changes. *ower per unit area.dyne -65? %ewtons.ie..s5.m53.erg.M'3T59 wor/>T PM'3T53 x T5-Q force x velocity PM'T53 x 'T5-Q. The rate at which wor/ is done .m...s5 g. That power which gives rise to the production of energy at the rate of . .T5-Q. A force causes a mass to accelerate .cm . n as &ntensity .m5 erg.m53 53 *ressure .s5Acceleration .s5 g. 0or/ only occurs when there is a transfer of energy.cm m /now .s53 /now %ewton .s53 g.s59 g.'53Q wor/>area>sec PM'3T53.'. m9 cm9 2elocity . A measure of energy transfer from one body to another.0att.s5/now -6B erg. or 0att. /g. m..s5 9 9 or @oule. /g.m3.'>T. .s5 3 3 %ewton.s53. 0or/ can be related to the distance an obLect is moved .Loule per second or -6Bergs per second. or dyne. @oule erg n as *ower .cm3.'53Q.s50att. wor/ per second. Rate at which wor/ is done across a unit area per second..'9. /g.'>T>T or '>T3 or 'T53. The amount of force per unit area.M'5-T53 force>area PM'T53.erg -65B Loules.

cm53 6.. -666 .m3.M'5-T53 force>area PM'T53.. A**$%D&R ? "ome $xtra %otes on deciBels The formula for deriving the Bel from a ratio of intensities is45 .cm5 -.s53 -.'53Q..m5-..s5 g..ert< .cm or m53 53 /nown *ascal . The rate at which wor/ is done .cm5 or 3..m5 0att.<.'.speed of sound.ie. The amount of force per unit area.. 2elocity . . m cm 1re uency . g. /g.s59 @oule.< Acoustic *ower . as .cm3.*a.s5 9 9 or @oule. 0avelength .*a.cm 53 . A**$%D&R : Acoustic +nits of Measurement Acoustic units of measurement are a sub5set of the full list of units of measurement.s50att. wor/ per second.0att. 'T5-.*a.s53. Amount of power per unit area.M'3T59 wor/>T PM'3T53 x T5-Q force x velocity PM'T53 x 'T5-Q. dyne.. cycles>sec sec5/ilo.erg.'5.T5-Q.cm53 -6:0att. /g.MT59 power>area PM'3T59.'53Q wor/>area>sec PM'3T53.s5/nown 0att -6B erg.wavelength.s5./.0.s5 3 %ewton.dyne.m5 g. /g.cm5 -.s59 g.m53.or /now n as /g.T5-..<. divided by distance .cm .s53 dyne. Acoustic *ressure is commonly referred to as "ound *ressure 'evel or "*'.m5 erg.0att .s5.ert< . m53 *ascal .. Acoustic &ntensity ..'53. as .s53 %ewton. or 3 53 Acoustic or "ound *ressure .

&>&6.. the velocity of . H 3 x log-6.if and only if.see above. is45 dB H -6 x log-6.&->&3.3.ms5. pressure temperature c velocity of sound *6 static pressure 6 static density ratio of specific heats The ratio of specific heats .*>*6.although this is often rounded off to 996 ms5. and45 .R3.G4 degrees Gelvin. These relationships are uite complex as an increase in temperature affects both 6 and *6. so45 absolute temperature . 6I8 H 3B9. "ince there are -6 dB to every Bel.&->&3.*->*3. the following relation holds45 To use this e uation all temperature values in I8 must be converted to IG . varies with gas and is proportional to temperature. H 3 x log-6. H log-6. the formula for deriving the deciBel .*>*6. and so IG H I8 J 3B9.$ 2$'#8&T) #1 "#+%D The velocity or speed of sound .eg..to simplify calculations.dB. H 36 x log-6. This is the same as saying that the velocity of sound at 3B9IG is 99.45 * is the pressure of a sound whose intensity is & *6 is the pressure of a sound whose intensity is &6 The second condition is only approximately true . is the number of metres that a wavefront travels in one second.c.. The exact velocity of sound in air at . The formula for determining dB from pressure ratios is derived as follows45 "ince45 log-6. air K67 oxygen J 367 nitrogen. iff . The speed of sound in a gas is dependent on a number of factors45 the composition of the gas .eg.3 Then45 log-6.m53 A**$%D&R A T..&->&3. as 36C*a is only approximately the pressure of a sound whose intensity is -65 -30. such as air at sea level.&>&6.Bel H log-6.ms5-. same gas under same pressure conditions.3B9IG. and for air at the same pressure but different temperatures. nb.*>*6. H .-?IG .. and so45 -6 x log-6.atmosphere and 68 is 99.when using the standard reference values.R. but under conditions where pressure and density remain constant .

9 -396 The table can be interpreted if it is realised that the compressibility of the metals copper. 0ater -? -.sound can be calculated by the above formula .6 -:?6 vulcanised 6 -.a mix of 367 oxygen and K67 nitrogen. c .9 99&t can be clearly seen from this table that the velocity of sound in very low density gasses . then c H 9:A ms5if H 969IG .O ?-96 copper 36 K. The main cause of the difference in the velocity of sound in oxygen and air would be the effect that the density of nitrogen has on the density of air . .. if the gas changes.?: rubber granite 6 3.nb.atmosphere45 (as 6 c . That is.decrease in /.ms5-. and lead is fairly similar so that the main trend in these metals is a decrease in the .x -69 /gm59.36I8.O 9?A6 lead 36 --. iron. density / elastic or bul/ modulus &t must be noted that the elastic or bul/ modulus increases as the compressibility or deformability of the material decreases. or in density lead to a decrease in the speed of sound. then "imilarly45 if H 3OKIG . +sing this formula it can be shown that for air at ..such as hydrogen..ydrogen 6.atmosphere pressure45 if H 3O9IG . then c H 9:O ms5The following table compares the velocity of sound and the density of three gasses at 6I8 and . so the elastic or bul/ modulus is a measure of the resistance of a material to deformation. tends to be higher than it is in higher density gasses .96I8.I8. or if the pressure changes. the elastic or bul/ modulus is the inverse of the common notion of elasticity and so the lower / the higher the elasticity.3?I8. The following table indicates some relationships between density and velocity of sound for various solids and li uids45 Density Material Temp .: 9-B Air -. then the calculations will be inaccurate.such as oxygen and air. increases in either elasticity .6O -3KA #xygen -.B ?-66 iron 36 B. &n other words. The velocity of sound in li uids and solids depends upon the elasticity and density.B A666 aluminium 36 3.

on the surface of the spherical wave front radiating out from the source in all directions.has a lower bul/ modulus. if you multiply the distance from the source by two.. Aluminium and iron on the other hand have very different densities but sound travels through them at about the same velocity.lower bul/ modulus. but sound has a similar velocity to what it has in lead. (ranite.and pressures. sound travels very slowly.from the source &3 the intensity of the same sound at distance r3 from the source. A**$%D&R B A8#+"T&8 &%T$%"&T) A%D T. regardless of its low average density. than iron. at varying distances from the sound source. you divide the intensity by four.velocity of sound as the density increases. This suggests that water is much more compressible than lead . The fact that it does not indicates that the velocity of sound in aluminium is reduced because it is more compressible .higher bul/ modulus. 2ulcanised rubber is extremely compressible . we are more interested in comparing intensities .very low bul/ modulus. :r3 surface area of a sphere of radius r 1or the purposes of this course. 1rom the first e uation above we can derive45 or &.. and so. &f they were e ually compressible then sound would travel at a much higher velocity through lower density aluminium. 0ater has a very low density.$ &%2$R"$ "D+AR$ 'A0 The acoustic intensity. &f we remember that45 then we can also say45 or &n other words45 That is sound pressure is inversely proportional to the distance of the point of measurement from the source. or average rate at which wor/ is being transferred through a unit area . This law is derived from45 & intensity of the sound per unit area at distance r from the source *wr total power of the sound r radius of sphere . diminishes with distance in accordance with the inverse s uare law.the intensity of a sound at distance r.distance from sound source. on the other hand has the same density as aluminium but sound travels at a greater velocity because its compressibility is less . That is. where45 where45 . so that if you double the distance you halve the sound pressure.

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