Sound is a mechanical wave that is an oscillation of pressure transmitted through a solid, liquid, or gas, composed of frequencies.
Sound can’t travel through a vacuum (an area empty of matter).
The scientific study of sound waves is known as acoustics.
The sound of thunder is produced by rapidly heated air surrounding lightning which expands faster than the speed of sound.
The loudest natural sounds ever made on Earth are probably gigantic volcanic eruptions , such as the explosions of the island of Krakatoa.
Some of the loudest sounds produced by our own invention are the noise of space rockets blasting from the launch pad. The biggest were the Saturn V rockets that launched the USA’s Apollo moon missions of 1968-72. They had their greatest success when Apollo 11 landed on the Moon – an airless and therefore completely silent place – on 20 July 1969. Once a space rocket had taken off and entered the vaccum of space, it became totally silent.
One musical piece has no sound at all. It is called 4 minutes 33 seconds. It was ‘ written ‘ by the American composer John Cage in 1954. A pianist sits at the piano and plays nothing for exactly 4 minutes and 33 seconds. The content of the composition is meant to be perceived as the sounds of the environment that the listeners hear while it is performed, rather than merely as four minutes and thirty three seconds of silence.
Middle C , with a frequency of 256 Hertz,is near the top of the singing range of a typical adult male voice. It is also near the lower end of the singing range of an adult female voice.
In the deep ocean . the sperm whale uses sound to stun or kill its prey. Its sends out giant grunts, immensely powerful bursts of sound that can disable nearby fish, squid and other victims.
Huge cathedrals, with their hard walls and floors of stone, glass and wood, are amazing places for acoustics. Almost any sound seems loud and long, a sit echoes and reverberates through the surfaces. This is why church singing sounds so special.
In the recording studio any stray sound is a nuisance. So the walls, ceilings and floors are covered with sound-absorbing substances, such as wavy-surfaced tiles and thick carpets. There is a continuing search for ‘acoustically dead’ materials that absorb all sounds.
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