Book O - Chapter 2: The Nature of Sound

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JNS2010  on April 12, 2012

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Book O - Chapter 2: The Nature of Sound

 Amplitudethe maximum distance a wave vibrates from its rest position
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Definitions

Amplitude the maximum distance a wave vibrates from its rest position
Compression a region of higher density or pressure in a wave
Constructive interference interference that results in a wave that has a greater amplitude than that of the individual waves
Decibel (dB) the most common unit used to express loudness
Destructive interference interference that results in a wave that has a smaller amplitude than that of the individual waves
Diffraction the bending of waves around a barrier or through an opening
Doppler effect the apparent change in the frequency of a sound caused by the motion of either the listener or the source of the sound (refers to sound only)
Echo a reflected sound wave
Echolocation the process of using reflected sound waves to find objects
Frequency the number of waves produced in a given amount of time
Fundamental the lowest resonant frequency
Hertz (Hz) the unit used to express frequency; one hertz is one cycle per second
Infrasonic the term describing sounds with frequencies lower than 20 Hz
Inner ear the part of the ear where vibrations created by sound are changed into electrical signals for the brain to interpret
Interference a wave interaction that occurs when two or more waves overlap
Loudness how loud or soft a sound is perceived to be
Medium a substance through which a wave can travel
Middle ear the part of the ear where the amplitude of sound vibrations is increased
Noise any undesired sound, especially nonmusical sound, that includes a random mix of pitches
Oscilloscope a device used to graph representations of sound waves
Outer ear "the part of the ear that acts as a funnel to direct sound waves into the middle ear"
Overtones resonant frequencies that are higher than the fundamental
Pitch how high or low a sound is perceived to be
Rarefaction a region of lower density or pressure in a wave
Reflection the bouncing back of a wave after it strikes a barrier or an object
Resonance what occurs when an object vibrating at or near a resonant frequency of a second object causes the second object to vibrate
Resonant frequencies the frequencies at which standing waves are made
Sonar (sound navigation and ranging) a type of electronic echolocation
Sonic boom "the explosive sound heard when a shock wave from an object traveling faster than the speed of sound reaches a person's ears"
Sound quality the result of several pitches blending together through interference
Standing wave "a wave that forms a stationary pattern in which portions of the wave do not move and other portions move with a large amplitude"
Tinnitus hearing loss resulting from damage to the hair cells and nerve endings in the cochlea
Ultrasonic the term describing sounds with frequencies higher than 20,000 Hz
Ultrasonography "a medical procedure that uses echoes from ultrasonic waves to "see" inside a patient's body without performing surgery"
Vibration the complete back-and-forth motion of an object
Wave a disturbance that transmits energy through matter or space

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