Acoustic Waves in Physics

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Acoustic Waves in Physics

An acoustic wave can simply be described as a longitudinal wave. A longitudinal wave is a wave that vibrates and moves in the direction of its propagation. This means the medium is either in the same or opposite direction of the way the wave travels. Acoustic waves are a form of Mechanical longitudinal waves; these waves are otherwise known as compression waves or compressional waves. Compressional waves obviously produce compression, decompression, and rarefaction to travel.

In Physics, the acoustic wave has an equation to describe the evolution of acoustic pressure and particle velocity as a function. The general equation is:

Acoustic waves have multiple equations, but this version is the simplified form. In a simplified acoustic wave equation there is only one spatial dimension. In other more complex equations there is a possibility of two or maybe even three dimensions. [5] The letter “p” in the general form equation pictured above is to show the acoustic pressure . The letter “c” represents the speed of sound. Both acoustic pressure and speed of sound are the key ingredients to describing the behavior of sound in matter.

A solution for this particular acoustic wave equation is:

“F” and “g” both show two twice-differentiable functions, and “c” again, is the speed of sound. [5]

After reading the first paragraphs you may be wondering why are acoustic waves so important in normal life or “why would I ever need this equation?’ Acoustic waves are important because sound is all around us. When you think of the word “acoustic” a few words may come to mind. Guitars, stereos, and many other items involve acoustic waves. For example, when the bass on a stereo is turned all the way up you m...

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...smits the waves from one direction but as soon as it reflects it blocks them from the other. [1]

Many people hear both terms, acoustic and sound waves and think they are basically the same. That seems to be untrue because sound waves do not have polarization. [3] The reason why they don’t have polarization is because sound waves oscillate in the same directions they move. This means sound waves cannot reflect while acoustic waves can. For example, when you are in a domed shaped building the acoustics allow you to hear an echo or a projection of a noise from the other side of the room.

There is not many information on acoustic waves but it was interesting researching this topic. The little that I found was really cool and I’m glad I did this essay on such a topic. Acoustic waves are all around us and are important in science.

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