Talk:Sound/Archive 1

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Archive 1


Some one or ones is repeatedly defacing this article. See this history comparison. Correcting those.

speed of sound

how is the speed of sound affected in sub zero(f) temperatures compared to normal above freezing temps? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:15, 11 January 2009 (UTC)

The speed of sound in an ideal gas is proportional to the square root of the absolute temperature.

-User: Nightvid (unregistered)

External Links

I know this is a longshot - but I was hoping to add as an "External link". I don't have the standing to unlock the article - I'm a new member. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Attractivism (talkcontribs) 10:12, 1 October 2008 (UTC)

GA Re-Review and In-line citations

Members of the Wikipedia:WikiProject Good articles are in the process of doing a re-review of current Good Article listings to ensure compliance with the standards of the Good Article Criteria. (Discussion of the changes and re-review can be found here). A significant change to the GA criteria is the mandatory use of some sort of in-line citation (In accordance to WP:CITE) to be used in order for an article to pass the verification and reference criteria. Currently this article does not include in-line citations. It is recommended that the article's editors take a look at the inclusion of in-line citations as well as how the article stacks up against the rest of the Good Article criteria. GA reviewers will give you at least a week's time from the date of this notice to work on the in-line citations before doing a full re-review and deciding if the article still merits being considered a Good Article or would need to be de-listed. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us on the Good Article project talk page or you may contact me personally. On behalf of the Good Articles Project, I want to thank you for all the time and effort that you have put into working on this article and improving the overall quality of the Wikipedia project. Agne 00:09, 26 September 2006 (UTC)

Examples of Sound Pressure Levels

I think we need some references for the examples of Sound Pressure Levels. There must be some good sources with measured SPL's that we could use. For example, someone has just changed the threshold of pain to 120 dB. What is the source of this data? The same question applies to all numbers in the list. pheon 23:06, 12 October 2006 (UTC)

Tidy Up

I removed some very old comments from this page that no longer seemed relevant. pheon 02:26, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

Page Structure

It has been suggested that this article be split into articles entitled Sound, Sound pressure and Sound pressure level, accessible from a disambiguation page. I disagree. My preference would be for just one larger article called Sound with sections on sound pressure and sound pressure level. Pages already exist on those topics but there is much overlap with the sound page. We should maintain the links but redirect them to the relevant section in sound. A single, well constructed Sound article would pull together all these concepts on one coherent place.pheon 17:12, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

This article's Good article status under review for possible delisting, see Good article review

This article's Good article status under review for possible delisting, see Good article review. --Ling.Nut 00:01, 18 December 2006 (UTC)

Good Article review

The Good Article review concerning this article has been archived, and in a 6 to 0 vote, this article has been delisted, primarily for compleate lack of internal citations, and weak referencing overall, along with concerns about the length of the introducton and compleatness. Plus, the article had been warned much earlier about this problem, yet it seems nothing was done. Review archived here: Wikipedia:Good articles/Disputes/Archive 11. Homestarmy 02:35, 27 December 2006 (UTC)


I removed the scribd link by User:Hallenrm. It is an interesting article, with much content that would be useful here; but it does contain some mis-conceptions so I felt it would be better not to mislead. pheon 00:11, 15 March 2007 (UTC)

Factual error

I didn't want to edit w/o first discussing, but I'm pretty sure the latter half of the sentence below is incorrect (emphasis added):

  • "Sound propagates as waves of alternating pressure, causing local regions of compression and rarefaction.

In the atmosphere air is unconfined, i.e. is in effect incompressible. Pressure gradients do not result in compression. Of course air is compressible, but that is not why it propagates sound waves. Nearly the same sentence appears on the Underwater acoustics page:

  • "A sound wave propagating underwater consists of alternating compressions and rarefactions of the water."

In this context the error is more clear. A small tap of metal on metal propagates quite well underwater, where the speed of sound is about 4x that of air. But that tap in no way produces enough energy to compress water -- something like 2 billion Joules per unit volume. Todd Johnston 04:05, 10 June 2007 (UTC) sound,you hear it —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:27, 5 November 2007 (UTC)

I strongly disagree: (1) "In the atmosphere air is unconfined i.e. is in effect incompressible". This is incorrect. Atmosphere (in equilibrium) can be described by a pressure that is a function of altitude (pressure tends to 0 at very high altitudes). However, sound is a non-equilibrium phenomenon, so a pattern of compressions and rarefactions, that is, regions of higher- and lower-than-atmospheric pressures (at a given altitude), can exist in air, provided that such pattern moves with a well-defined speed. This moving pattern of pressure deviations from equilibrium is sound[1]. (2) But that tap in no way produces enough energy to compress water -- something like 2 billion Joules per unit volume. - This logic is quite misleading. Of course, sound carries energy, and of course, that energy originates from the "tap". Moreover, compression and rarefaction only accounts for 1/2 of the energy carried by the sound wave in water, the other 1/2 comes from the kinetic energy of the water layers moving back and forth as the pattern propagates. How can a weak "tap" compress so much water with so much energy? The answer: the compressions and rarefactions are usually very small, a tiny fraction of the atmospheric pressure. The energy of additional compression (compared to equilibrium) or rarefaction is proportional to the pressure deviation squared, so a part-per-thousand atmosphere additional compression will be associated with part-per-million additional energy. Also, a simple tap does not fill the entire ocean with sound. Rather, sound wave intensity will decay with distance traveled, exactly becasue energy needs to be conserved. Xenonice (talk) 05:52, 12 December 2007 (UTC)

Physics of Sound Web Site

I have created a web site devoted to all aspects of sound, including the physics of sound. I would like feedback on whether or not to: (1) reference the sites here, (2) copy some of the material here, or (3) forget the whole idea. There is a relatively simple equation-free section which can be found here [1], and a more advanced section with lots of equations which can be found here[2]. --Aludwig12 (talk) 23:03, 15 December 2007 (UTC)

Aludwig12, There is some good stuff on your pages. I think the best thing to do is to copy some over and see how it goes down. The level of technical complexity may be too high to start with and the 'alternative' derivation of the wave equation is interesting, but maybe the standard method would be less confusing/controversial. You could then put in a link to your 'alternative' derivation which would be appropriate I think. pheon (talk) 18:08, 16 December 2007 (UTC)

Actually, no, it's not appropriate to link one's own work; see WP:EL. But another editor, such as pheon, can link it if he sees fit. As for copying the content, make sure that you include a source (not your own work); see WP:V and WP:RS. Dicklyon (talk) 02:49, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

Thank you for your feedback.--Aludwig12 (talk) 16:47, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

Good Article Date

This article was tagged as a good article on January 16, 2006 at 03:18 by User:ScienceApologist. Here is a link to the current version at that time (I dont' know how to make this link correctly, sorry/please help!). Neurogeek (talk) 01:26, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

Translation of French article

An amateurish translation of the French article is available in my user space: User:Neurogeek/Son_Sound_Translation. The translation is rough, but the article in the original French is very good. I intend to modify the English version so that it is comparable (or better!). Neurogeek (talk) 02:13, 1 February 2008 (UTC)

Note: I found that the first sentence of the French article is a simple translation of the first sentence of Encyclopedia Britannica Online's article on Sound. E.B.O. requires registration, and I am not willing to put a lot of effort towards investigating plagarism. However, that is enough for me not to use a direct translation of the French article for the English one. Also, the French article has the same problem with references as does the English, and perhaps suffers from mistakes. Neurogeek (talk) 05:53, 2 February 2008 (UTC)

14 year old

I think you should make it so a 14 year old can understand it!!! Hannah Montana94

Perhaps a balance can be reached where different readers will be able to find something that engages them no matter what their prior knowledge. Binksternet (talk) 05:27, 8 May 2008 (UTC)
I'd like to agree with your Hannah Montana94, but unfortunately (or fortunately) the physics of sound is complex and research goes on all the time. The nature of the material is complex, so a bit of 'basic' physics knowledge is required to understand what is going on. I do however think the introduction and the mention of other animals is fairly simple to understand Gautam Discuss 05:27, 17 May 2008 (UTC)

Im 12 and i can understand it perfectly. You should learn english instead of making us dumb it down for you. If you dont know a word look it up. If you dont know the words in the definition look those words up. Mr. Invisible Person (talk) 22:30, 13 October 2008 (UTC)


Have requested semi-protection for this article as there seems to be a lot of pointless and random vandalism occurring. Paulrach (talk) 21:02, 20 April 2008 (UTC)

Use Meters per Second

In what seems to be the final section, let's stick to SI units and convert those values to m/s. That's more useful. The british values can be put in parenthesis or something. Gautam Discuss 05:26, 17 May 2008 (UTC)

Don't how this could help but...

Anybody know about Nasa space recordings the Voyager recorded? Well someone uploaded it on youtube:

I still don't know how this would help but, after looked at the vid info, maybe someone who knows more than me about how is transmitted could add the info here? Sorry, having a hard time putting it into words... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:37, 12 August 2008 (UTC)


I have a question: I assume that at absulute zero, or almost absulute zero, there would be no sound be cause the molecules would be still and couldnt move. At absulute heat (when molecules are moveing at the speed of light) would sound be amplified? Mr. Invisible Person (talk) 20:43, 6 October 2008 (UTC)

I think you just invented a new concept, absolute heat. There's no such thing, since there's no upper bound on the average energy per particle. Dicklyon (talk) 22:09, 6 October 2008 (UTC)

Sorry its more like absolute highest temp. If einstiens theory that nothing can go faster than light is correct than any given molecule in say a square inch of matter could only go up to the speed of light. Therefor it would be at the highest temperature posible. By the way temp and heat are not the same thing. A teacup with water at 100 temp units would not have as much heat as a bucket of water at 75 temp units of water.Mr. Invisible Person (talk) 22:34, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

No. Temperature can increase without bound, while all particle speeds stay below the speed of light. Dicklyon (talk) 05:24, 8 October 2008 (UTC)

"On the microscopic scale, temperature is defined as the average energy of microscopic motions of a single particle in the system per degree of freedom." Temperature is speed. If there is a limit to speed than there is a limit to temperature. Either way, would the sound be amplified in extreme heat? Mr. Invisible Person (talk) 22:22, 13 October 2008 (UTC)

Your conclusion would be correct if the energy of a particle had a finite bound like its speed does. But that's not the case. As the energy goes to infinity, the speed approaches c. That's why c cannot be exceeded; because it can't be reached with finite energy. Dicklyon (talk) 00:40, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

Sound can be in object in space (like a vaccum) even though it cannot travel in a vaccum

While it is true sound cannot travel in a vaccum, I feel this statement slightly misleading. This is because light that is intense enough to exert a mechanical force on a object can, when pulsed, make a sound on any solid, liquid, gas, or plasma it comes in contact with even thought the light is in a vaccum. This is because pulsed aspect of the light causes the mechanical force exerted by the light on the object to vary even if it is just by a constant periodic force (or square wave of light). Thus an object in space can be affected by a sound wave from another distant object in space simply due to emission of electromagnetic radiation even though they are separated by a vaccum. A common example of this can be seen in the reference below as reported by Scientific American. Another more theoretical example is our sun. If you where to record the sound from an object orbiting very close to the sun (like a satellite) theoretically you would measure a very high pitched sound even though only light it hitting the object. Reference

Maris, Humphrey. "Picosecond ultrasonics." Scientific American 278, no. 1 (January 1998): 86. Environment Complete, EBSCOhost (accessed October 8, 2008). (talk) 21:28, 8 [[October 2008 (UTC)

Are you objecting to "Sound cannot travel through vacuum."? If so, I don't see why. What would you propose saying instead? Dicklyon (talk) 05:41, 8 December 2008 (UTC)
"Sound cannot travel through a vacuum" is still a correct statement; you might, however, argue that "The energy of sound in one medium cannot become acoustic energy in another which is separated from the first by a vacuum" would be an incorrect statement. Since the article did not say that, it is correct. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:19, 12 January 2009 (UTC)

"sound means those vibrations composed of frequencies capable of being detected by ears.[1]"

In the article on the "tree falling in the woods" question, you contradict that statement. In that article it says:

"Sound is vibration, transmitted to our senses through the mechanism of the ear, and recognized as sound only at our nerve centers. The falling of the tree or any other disturbance will produce vibration of the air. If there be no ears to hear, there will be no sound."

That is a quote from a scientist, which you quote in the "falling tree" article. The definition you use in the "sound" article is from a dictionary.

I agree with the science definition. Sound is not any waves "capable" of being heard, it is waves which are heard. As the scientists say. It is a totally human/animal concept. Just because a tree produces waves of energy, it doesn't produce sound.

Alan16 (talk) 13:52, 19 February 2009 (UTC)

Without ears, vibration is simply vibration. With ears, it's sound. Binksternet (talk) 15:48, 19 February 2009 (UTC)
That is sort of my point. It is only sound when it is heard. That makes the opening sentence "sound means those vibrations composed of frequencies capable of being detected by ears.[1]" incorrect. Sound should surely be defined as be "vibrations composed of frequencies detected by ears." Not capable. It is only sound when ears hear it. It isn't sound, even if it is a vibration with a frequency between 20 and 20000 Hz. It is only sound when detected by ears. No? Alan16 (talk) 16:47, 19 February 2009 (UTC)
Yes. Go for it. Binksternet (talk) 17:36, 19 February 2009 (UTC)
Right. I've done it. I think it sounds fine, but if you can think of a way to write it in a better fashion, change it. Thanks. Alan16 (talk) 18:39, 19 February 2009 (UTC)
I added a bit about how the vibration must be loud enough to be heard for it to be sound. Binksternet (talk) 19:40, 19 February 2009 (UTC)

I've made a minor mod to the wording, but I'm not at all sure I'm comfortable with the new definition. How about we bring some sources into the discussion, and try to go with an accepted definition? Dicklyon (talk) 19:54, 19 February 2009 (UTC)

Sorry people but I disagree. If you look at the definition it is:

  "capable of being detected by human organs of hearing"

The "tree falling in the woods" article has no reference so I can not read it. But to take a common sense scientific approach. If I take a microphone and a mile long mic cable and record a tree falling in the woods and I then play back the recording over a speaker how can the first set of vibrations in the air not be sound and the second be sound?

Scientific observation generally discounts observations that are dependent on the person making them. Observing sounds with the ear or a microphone makes no difference in the phenomena. One may be more accurate than the other, but they both observe the same phenomena. The scientific name of the phenomena is "sound" or "sound waves".

It is like saying that a light in the 625–740 nm wave length leaving a light bulb is only red when it hits your eyes. The light leaving the back of the bulb has no color. If I were to put a mirror behind the bulb, then the colorless light would magically become red simply because it changed direction and hit your eyes.

Taking the "vibrations composed of frequencies detected by ears" definition a bit farther it would bring up the question of who's ears? If you use my ears, the the frequency range of sound is only 20 Hz to 12 KHz. This frequency range is also common for people over 70. What about the rare few who can hear frequencies above 20 KHz? The "detected by ears" phrase is far to subjective to be useful in the first sentence of an encyclopedic definition of sound.

Finally if we allow the "detected by ears" phrase to stand it would validate the snake oil claims of the cable people who claim their audio, speaker, AC cables dramatically improve the sound of your stereo. How can you contradict the sales person who makes the claim? You can't hear what their ears are detecting, so their opinion observation is as valid as yours.

Robert.Harker (talk) 20:02, 19 February 2009 (UTC)

You do highlight some facts that I thought about. The microphone thing especially. The "heard by ears" thing is perhaps not the right way of phrasing it, but I don't like capable, because I don't believe it is scientifically accurate.

And also, I disagree with your source. The only dictionaries I can find that definition in are wiktionary and American Heritage thing. The more reliable ones, like Merriam-Webster and the OED, do not include this definition.

I think the real problem lies, in that, in my opinion, the definition is that sound is only sound after it has been through the ears. That is not well worded, but I hope you get the idea. I'm trying to say that if a tree falls in a wood, it doesn't make it sound. It instead makes vibrations which the ear picks up as sound. Also, I could argue that a microphone doesn't pick up sound, it picks up the vibrations. It only becomes sound when we listen to it through some headphones on a computer etc.

The reason I talked about the "tree falling in the woods" article, is because it quotes and references an article in a scientific journal, where the American Institute of Scientists said it is not sound until heard through ears, and then sent through nerves, etc etc.

To sum up, I think it would be wrong to say "vibrations which are capable of being detected by human hearing organs" (paraphrased). It is misleading. It suggest that a tree falling in a wood creates sound, when I, and the AIS, argue that it does not. It instead creates waves, which after going through ears become sound.

Like many I think the edit I made is probably not really a good first encyclopaedic line, but I also think a change from what it was is neccesary. A consensus needs to be reached. *EDIT* Just correcting spelling mistakes.Alan16 (talk) 20:24, 19 February 2009 (UTC)

Any vibration that might be heard by an organism which is able to sense sound IS sound... it doesn't matter if it's out on the polar icecap with nobody to hear it. It's sound by concept... it can be discussed as sound that might have been heard. Binksternet (talk) 21:11, 19 February 2009 (UTC)
That is what I, and my sources, disagree with. According to the American Institute of Scientists, vibrations at the polar icecap only become sound when they are interpreted in that way by the ears/brain. Correct me if I'm wrong, but sound is in the form of waves. Now I believe they are not labelled sound, and light waves light. They are just waves. They become sound when the human ear interprets them. I think that it would therefore be bad practice to call it sound, in the assumption that it is sound we would have heard. Alan16 (talk) 22:26, 19 February 2009 (UTC)

Many sources define sound one way or the other. Here's one that explicitly acknowledges both. We should use both, too. Dicklyon (talk) 01:55, 20 February 2009 (UTC)

Fair enough, as long as we make both sides clear. I think that was the biggest problem, when I original asked about changing it. I don't think it was particullarly clear. Alan16 (talk) 08:52, 20 February 2009 (UTC)

sound vibrates through the air and walls and gas and basikly everything i ont know that much about sound —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:23, 25 February 2009 (UTC)

WikiAudio ext. link

I'm not reverting for now, but I do feel that this link is noteworthy enough to include. I would oppose using it on pages like "Music" or "Amplifier", but it seems natural to have it here. What do you people think? Headbomb {ταλκκοντριβς – WP Physics} 04:05, 29 March 2009 (UTC)

I don't think "noteworthy" is among the criteria in the policy at WP:EL. It suggests we might want to link things with content that can't easily be included here (I don't think that's the case here); and suggests avoiding open wikis. Comment relative to those, please? Dicklyon (talk) 05:03, 29 March 2009 (UTC)
Noteworthy is perhaps a poor word to express my thoughts. Consider criterion 4 "Sites which fail to meet criteria for reliable sources yet still contain information about the subject of the article from knowledgeable sources." That would be the "for" argument. The "against" argument is anti-criterion 12 "Links to open wikis, except those with a substantial history of stability and a substantial number of editors.", but the provision "except those..." definitely applies here. WikiAudio is an active wiki, and is an actual go-to source for audio related stuff.Headbomb {ταλκκοντριβς – WP Physics} 05:48, 29 March 2009 (UTC)
I don't see the site helping our readers. The first page I came to showed a prominent search cell within which to type something... it said What Would You Like To Know?. I thought for a second about what one of our readers here on this page might be curious about and typed in "speed of sound". What I got was a list of articles having nothing to do with the answer: "Wow and flutter measurement", "Melodyne 3.2.2: Tools", "Wireless microphone", "Pitch control", etc. This was not at all reassuring. I scrolled down the list to the 18th entry and found Delay which I figured might have the answer. The speed of sound was not presented there but it had a rough thumbnail estimate useful for live sound engineers, one which I recognized from the Delay (audio effect) article here. Reading deeper, I was surprised to see my own wording within the straight delay section at WikiAudio; apparently, its text was taken from the article here. I see no reason why we need to have an external link which mirrors text found here. Binksternet (talk) 15:07, 29 March 2009 (UTC)

Accuracy of '20 Hz and 20,000 Hz'

Hi. I just wonder how accurate "For humans, hearing is limited to frequencies between about 20 Hz and 20,000 Hz (20 kHz), …" is? Which age does this generally apply for? I can hear frequencies between ~20 Hz and 20,800 Hz, and I am 19 years old. So I can't imagine it to be the limit as widest in a life time.

//Andrée —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:23, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

It is more a general statement, and could probably do with editing to show this. I'll make the change see the response. Alan16 talk 23:29, 17 April 2009 (UTC)
The low frequency limit isn't tied to aging. Just about everybody can hear 20 Hz if it's loud enough; and further increases in sound pressure allow the listener to sense down to about 12 Hz. Binksternet (talk) 23:48, 17 April 2009 (UTC)
See Olson, Harry F. (1967). Music, Physics and Engineering. Dover Publications. pp. 248–251. ISBN 0486217698. .
Do you think this should be put in the article, because I think it only says that the upper limit is tied to ageing. Alan16 talk 14:03, 18 April 2009 (UTC)
Sure! We should define both ends of the range. Binksternet (talk) 16:00, 18 April 2009 (UTC)
Oh, and I'm correcting my 16 to 12 Hz per Olson. I guess it's been too long since I looked at that page. Binksternet (talk) 16:02, 18 April 2009 (UTC)
Right, well I'll change the bottom range to 12Hz and site your source. Ok? Alan16 talk 21:51, 18 April 2009 (UTC)
Yup. Binksternet (talk) 01:16, 23 April 2009 (UTC)

"Sound is vibration transmitted through…"

I think "Sound is vibration" should be rephrased as "Sound is a traveling wave which is an oscillation of pressure", as in the article Hertz. (talk) 15:54, 18 April 2009 (UTC)

I'll do the changes. Seems to be the right thing to do. Alan16 talk 21:54, 18 April 2009 (UTC)

Surely the "right thing to do" is to find out what sound actually is by looking it up in a reliable reference such as one of the many standard textbooks on sound and then writing a reasonably correct definition? I think for 5 minutes a few years ago there was briefly a sensible one but it was soon lost due to the actions of the enthusiastic but ill educated. (Yes I know what sound is but I am not going to fix the page because I am not prepared to spend time defending it and I also use it, along with a few other pages, to monitor the state of wikipedia.) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:10, 11 August 2009 (UTC)

the definition

Sound is a travelling wave which is an oscillation of pressure transmitted through a solid, liquid, or gas,

can someone clarify whether the "which is an oscillation of pressure transmitted through a solid, liquid, or gas," refers to "travelling wave" or "sound" ?? if it refers to "travelling wave" , is it really necessary to mention that extra bit of info referring to something else here? (admittedly relevant from an angle, but still...) also it'd be great if someone could add commas indicating pauses and appropriate breaks in the definition -- (talk) 16:42, 22 November 2009 (UTC)

another thing... the last bit doesn't make tat great sense too - "or the sensation stimulated in organs of hearing by such vibrations." - for one thing, tats straight outta the internet - basically this 'definition' is a mixture of definitions - not a bad thing, but we at wikipedia can do better i'm sure... and two, technically there isn't any prior reference to vibrations and even though one might presume to say oscillation of pressure refers to that, its not really right.

'official' scientific definitions are complex at times, but an analysis will show the definition to be logical and the words to have been placed with intent and with a definite purpose. there will be a correct amount of metering, something thats not really present here.. this one looks like somethin created outta spare parts, to put it bluntly.

i apologise if i've wounded the users who've worked hard to arrive at this definition after muddling thru expansive marshes of politics, ego fights, compromises etc (and no, i'm not being sarcastic)... but on analysin the thing, i felt it could've been know that it can be worded much much better... -- (talk) 18:08, 22 November 2009 (UTC)

Sound is always produced by vibrating objects.

-- No it is not. For example jet noise is caused by instabilities in the shear layers of the jet. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:33, 28 May 2010 (UTC)

sounds can be produced accidentally as well a s deliberetaly. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:36, 2 December 2009 (UTC)

If sounds are the waves, then we are systematically deceived as to the location and duration of sounds, yet, magically, we derive justified beliefs regarding the locations and durations of the sources of sounds from these false beliefs, which is nonsense. Waves necessarily move, yet, unless the source of the sound is moving, we do not experience the sound as if it were moving; if a sound is the wave, then when we hear it, it is right at our eardrum, yet we do not experience the sound as if it were at our eardrum unless the source is right at our eardrum. As to duration, if the sound is the wave itself, then it existed before we hear it and continues to exist after we hear it, but we don't experience it as if it existed before and after we hear it. Justified beliefs cannot be derived from non-veridical experiences, but we can have justified beliefs regarding the locations and durations of things from the sounds they make. On the contrary, sounds should be conceived of as the disturbance events which initiate the waves that carry the information from the source to our ears; under this conception, we are not systematically deceived as to their locations and durations. Infradead525 (talk) 14:32, 12 March 2010 (UTC)

I monitor a few articles now and again to track the state of wikipedia quality and this is a useful one. If you want to define sound then look it up in a text book about sound (there are thousands of them starting the century before last) and not a dictionary. Sound is not an oscillation of pressure even though sound waves involve oscillations of pressure. They are also rarely singular. If you wish to define sound as the audible component of acoustic waves then it would be better in the definition and not just the disambiguation even though it is rather doubtful definition. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:18, 28 May 2010 (UTC)


Does anyone object to me setting up automatic archiving for this page using MiszaBot? Unless otherwise agreed, I would set it to archive threads that have been inactive for 30 days and keep ten threads.--Oneiros (talk) 14:25, 24 January 2010 (UTC)

 Done--Oneiros (talk) 20:46, 8 February 2010 (UTC)

Hearing at the speed of sound

If you are moving at or beyound the speed of sound, what do you hear?  —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:16, 21 March 2010 (UTC) 

Regarding the photograph of an aircraft breaking the sound barrier: shouldn't that say 'water vapor' instead of condensed water droplets? Wouldn't the sudden and severe drop in air pressure tend to vaporize what water is in the air, and not cause it to condense? I'm not nearly confident enough to presume to change the text-- but it could be an error that has been easily missed. -- CANCEL that. I just did what I should have done before this comment: I read about the Prandtl–Glauert singularity. Now I'm REALLY glad I didn't touch the text. Gregory ScottGreg Scott 8 March 2011 18:17 EST.

About the intro to the article

The intro seems to suggest sound is only vibrations in the range of human hearing (approx. 20hz-20khz) but sound can be lower or higher than that (Elephants hear lower sounds, Dogs hears higher sounds, etc) EDIT: To be more clear, if sound is created out of the range of all living things present, the vibrations in the air still occur, thus sound is still there - it's just that it is not in the range of any human/animal present. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:18, 3 April 2010 (UTC)

Sound is a particular auditory impression, per Merriam-Webster Online. Sound requires organs of hearing, and vibration to stimulate those organs. Any vibration outside the sensitivity of all living things is not sound, it is vibration. Binksternet (talk) 01:27, 3 April 2010 (UTC)

issue with the first citation

sorry to be bumping the rest of this page (if any of these conversations are still active) but the first citation refers to a dictionary and does not send you to the dictionary's webpage. if there is not a web page it then seems more appropriate to remove the hyperlink and cite it as a book as many other wiki pages do.

i'm wiki-incapable or i would make the changes myself, sorry guys :P

also, the definition could use some work. i just finished a chapter in my college physics class on sound and the wording of this wiki definition made my head spin. from browsing other threads in here it seems there was some partial editing to it or substituting or something along those lines and it seems worse for the wear. -Austin209.105.184.28 (talk) 22:20, 20 May 2010 (UTC)

well, i just read more of this page, and there are serious contradictions to mainstream sound information. i understand that this doesnt make them wrong, but the sources these are cited to are poorly done. one source literally sends you to a google books page. another sends you to a page not related to its source. this article is fairly useless in this state, uncommon facts with poor citations = better off phoning a friend for quick reference. -Austin209.105.184.28 (talk) 22:32, 20 May 2010 (UTC)

The first cite turned into a dead link, as things are wont to do on the intertubes. I changed it into an archived version of the old link. Binksternet (talk) 23:24, 20 May 2010 (UTC)

Pending changes

This article is one of a number selected for the early stage of the trial of the Wikipedia:Pending Changes system on the English language Wikipedia. All the articles listed at Wikipedia:Pending changes/Queue are being considered for level 1 pending changes protection.

The following request appears on that page:

Comments on the suitability of theis page for "Pending changes" would be appreciated.

Please update the Queue page as appropriate.

Note that I am not involved in this project any much more than any other editor, just posting these notes since it is quite a big change, potentially

Regards, Rich Farmbrough, 00:06, 17 June 2010 (UTC).


Shouldn't inaudible frequencies be considered sound as well? e.g. ultrasound or would that be far too broad? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:38, 2 January 2013 (UTC)


Should this be combined with acoustics? Mic shep (talk) 01:08, 19 August 2010 (UTC)

I would not support such a merge. I think acoustics is a subset of sound, not the same thing. Binksternet (talk) 02:18, 19 August 2010 (UTC)
I oppose a merge. Acoustics is too large of a topic to merge into Sound. See Sound#Acoustics. --Kvng (talk) 04:08, 19 August 2010 (UTC)
I see your point that acoustics is more general than sound (not a subset of sound). However, everything discussed in this wiki belongs under acoustics too. Maybe the sound wiki should have audio links so that sounds can be listened to, whereas the acoustics wiki would have more general technical info on mechanical waves (in any fluid or solids).Mic shep (talk) 18:26, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
Indeed, the last three subsections in Acoustics#Fundamental_concepts_of_acoustics are common to both articles. The rest is pretty well focused. I feel that both articles are fairly incomplete. There's a lot of missing material that would not overlap: Sound in water, solids and outer space; Acoustical design and treatment. --Kvng (talk) 19:19, 12 October 2010 (UTC)

sound good —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:17, 11 January 2011 (UTC)

Sound Image

I'd like to see a portion regarding "sound image". You hear a lot of description of a soundfield in/as an image (I think I might have seen mention of it in the 8-track tape listing), but there is no reference to its definition anywhere that I've found in Wikipedia. It is a very important aspect of any work done by professional audio artists, producers, and technicians. Photoactivist (talk) 21:11, 18 May 2011 (UTC)

Stereo imaging is probably what you are looking for. I've added a link to See also. --Kvng (talk) 14:31, 21 May 2011 (UTC)

Philosophy of Sound

It says at the front of the page that Sound is a mechanical wave, etc. My question is: does sound really exist in reality or does it come into being when it affects the eardrum to produce sound in the brain? Perhaps the article should say that sound is a sensory perception created by neuro-chemical signals caused by this mechanical wave, etc. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:17, 10 July 2011 (UTC)

Sound it exists as a mechanical wave or pressure wave even if no one is listening. --Kvng (talk) 14:13, 12 July 2011 (UTC)

Edit request on 5 January 2012

First paragraph refers to "compressible media" water is not compressible...see hydrostatic testing. Suggest removing word compressible, sound does move through mediums, space is a vacuum and is the absence of a media, therefore sound does not propagate through space. (talk) 23:29, 5 January 2012 (UTC)

Sound moves through water by compression waves, the same way it moves through air and to some extend through solids. And "media" is the plural of "medium"; yes, sound needs a medium, and won't propagate through a vacuum. Dicklyon (talk) 23:36, 5 January 2012 (UTC)
Not done: please establish a consensus for this alteration before using the {{edit semi-protected}} template. Mato (talk) 17:21, 11 January 2012 (UTC)

There is no such thing as sound waves. Lets imagine in the best Einstein tradition that a tree falls in a forest, 45 tons of Redwood crash to the ground. In doing so it will disturb the air around it and setup frequencies of disturbed air - which will travel out multi directionally. There is no noise. On reaching our ear (or the ear of any mammal for that matter) the disturbances of air travel down our ear cavity and strike our eardrum, or tympanic membrane (probobly the most complex peice of tissue in our body). These vibrations are amplified by 3 small bones; one end of the first bone being connected from the innner ear side of the membrane - to the mebrane, and the end of the third bone to an 'elasticky' plug at the opening of the cochlea. The cochlea is filled with a viscous substance a bit like olive oil and the amplified vibrations from the 3 bones couse the viscous substance to vibrate at various frequencies which are picked up by hairlike receptors connected to the the brain which converts these vibration into what we know as sound. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:12, 25 February 2012 (UTC)

Speed of Sound

The speed of sound at sea level is also expressible as 1125.3281 feet/sec, as many use it. Audio engineers and recording people are still comfortable working in feet/sec, and that number should be included paranthetically in the sectoin of the same name in this article. (talk) 09:05, 28 February 2012 (UTC)


This article appears to be extensively over-linked (WP:OVERLINK. There are many links (such as pressure, density, species, mammals, etc.) Any links that do not directly relate to the topic or reference commonly understood terms should be removed. --MichiHenning (talk) 22:36, 10 May 2012 (UTC)

Sound Can Travel Through Vacuum?

I know it's what we all learned in High School, but apparently new research has proven otherwise. Maybe it's just quackery? Someone more expert on these matters ought to take a look. (talk) 09:18, 15 March 2012 (UTC)

The article does not say that sound can travel through a vacuum. Instead, it says that if you have a piezo-electric material and sound waves hit it, the sound waves can mechanically excite the material, which then creates electromagnetic waves. It is those waves that then cross the vacuum gap. --MichiHenning (talk) 22:37, 10 May 2012 (UTC)
Crude radio. Binksternet (talk) 02:36, 11 May 2012 (UTC)
    • ^ The theory of sound, by John William Strutt (Lord Rayleigh), Dover, NY, 1945