RBA Acoustics

#WednesdayWisdom – Acoustics Facts

In the spirit of #WednesdayWisdom we thought we should share some lighthearted Acoustic “facts”. How many of the below were you aware of, I wonder?

  • “Acoustics” comes from the Greek words, “akoustikos,” which pertains to hearing, “akoustos,” which means “heard” or “audible,” and “akouein,” which means “to hear.”
  • The human ear can’t distinguish an echo from the original sound if the delay is less than 1/10th of a second. Because the velocity of sound is about 1,125 (ft/s) at normal room temperature, a reflecting wall must be more than 53 feet from the sound for a person at the source to hear the echo.
  • Sound comes from vibrations. These vibrations create sound waves which move through mediums such as air and water before reaching our ears.
  • Our ears vibrate in a similar way to the original source of the vibration, allowing us to hear many different sounds.
  • Dogs can hear sound at a higher frequency than humans, allowing them to hear noises that we can’t.
  • Sound is used by many animals to detect danger, warning them of possible attacks before they happen.
  • Sound can’t travel through a vacuum (an area empty of matter).
  • The speed of sound is around 767 miles per hour (1,230 kilometres per hour).
  • The loud noise you create by cracking a whip occurs because the tip is moving so fast it breaks the speed of sound!
  • When traveling through water, sound moves around four times faster than when it travels through air.
  • Although music can be hard to define, it is often described as a pleasing or meaningful arrangement of sounds.
  • The sound of thunder is produced by rapidly heated air surrounding lightning which expands faster than the speed of sound.

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