Sound Waves
Sound Waves and their Properites in Surrounding Media


Waves Cover

The information associated with the language of music, speech, and other sounds is transmitted from the source to the receiver solely by the propagation of acoustic vibrations in a fluid medium such as the air. Sound information which is transmitted by an acoustic wave is indistinguishable from the oscillating properties of the wave, and is determined by the various characteristics of the source. The detection and processing of sound information depends on the quality and position in the medium of the receiver. Sound waves propagate in a variety of media, unaffected by the limits of human hearing, and range from tiny microacoustic waves in a plasma, to large-scale galactic waves in the interstellar medium. The presence of various sound waves in the surrounding media produces a continuum of interactive sound events which occur throughout the universe at various orders of magnitude and scale.

John Holland, 1985



General Definitions

General Properties 1
The Substance of Sound 3
Acoustic Vibrations 6
Acoustic Wave Motion 7

Vibrational Properties

Particle Vibration 9
Particle Displacement 10
Wave Vibration 12
Simple Waves, Complex Waves 13
Partial Tones 14
Musical Tones, Noise 16
Sound Frequency 17
Sound Amplitude 19
Sound Quality 20

Propagational Characteristics

Wave Motion 21
The Propagation of Sound Waves 22
The Velocity of Propagation 23
The Speed of Sound 24
The Direction of Sound 26
Longitudinal and Transverse Waves 27
Spherical Waves 29
Plane Waves 30
Sound Pressure 31
Sound Density 33
Sound Energy 35
Sound Intensity 37
Sound Duration 38

The Obstruction of Sound

The Obstruction of Sound 39
Sound Absorption 41
Acoustic Impedance 43
Incident Waves, Cross Waves 44
Sound Reflection 45
Sound Scattering 47
Sound diffraction 48
Shear Waves 50
Sound Refraction 51

Sound Interference

Wave Systems 53
Phase 54
Sound Interference 56
Stationary Waves 58
Sound Fluctuation 59
Combination Tones 60


The Source of Sound Waves

Acoustic Sound Sources 62
Traveling Waves 64
Standing Waves 65
Sound Dispersion 67
Surface Waves 68
Wave Modes Acting on a Solid Surface 69
Circular and Cylindrical Waves 72
Sympathetic Resonance 74
Wind and Whistle Tones 75
Shock Waves 77
Sounds Produced by the Translation of an Object Through a Medium 79
Radial Waves 80
Sound Waves Produced by the Rotation of a Solid Body 81
Acoustic Envelope 83
Acoustic Modulation 85
The Doppler Effect 86
Electrical Sound Sources 88

Sound Waves In Various Media

Sound Waves in Various Media 90
Ultra and Infrasound Waves 91
Microacoustic and Macroacoustic Waves 92
Thermal Waves 94

Sound Waves in Gas

Sound Waves in Gas 95
Sound Waves in the Atmosphere 96
Opticoacoustical Waves 98
Sound Waves Produced by Lightning 99
Whistlers 101

Sound Waves in Liquids

Sound Waves in Liquids 102
Sound Waves in the Hydrosphere 103
Acoustic Cavitation 106

Sound Waves in Organic and Inorganic Matter

Sound Waves in Solid Matter 107
Stress Waves in Crystalline Solids 109
Seismic Waves 111
Sound Waves in Organic Matter 114
Sound Waves in the Biosphere 116
Electrochemical Waves 118

Sound Waves in Plasmas and Superconductors

Sound Waves in a Plasma 120
Electroacoustic Waves 123
Electron Waves 124
Ion Waves 126
Electroacoustic Waves in a Semiconductor 128
Sound Waves in a Superconductor 129
Magnetoacoustic Waves 131
The Effect of Gravity and Magnetism on Sound Waves 133
Solar Waves 134

Sound Waves in the Interplanetary Medium

Sound Waves in the Interplanetary Medium 136
The Solar Wind 137

Sound Waves in the Interstellar Medium

Sound Waves in the Interstellar Medium 139
Galactic Waves 141

Sound Waves in the Intergalactic Medium

Sound Waves in the Intergalactic Medium 142

SOUND WAVES is available for order through
Spectrum Music (781-862-0088).