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d V V = lim Δ x 0 A [ s ( x + Δ x , t ) s ( x , t ) ] A Δ x = s ( x , t ) x .

The fractional change in volume is related to the pressure fluctuation by the bulk modulus     β = Δ p ( x , t ) d V / V . Recall that the minus sign is required because the volume is inversely related to the pressure. (We use lowercase p for pressure to distinguish it from power, denoted by P .) The change in pressure is therefore Δ p ( x , t ) = β d V V = β s ( x , t ) x . If the sound wave is sinusoidal, then the displacement as shown in [link] is s ( x , t ) = s max cos ( k x ω t + ϕ ) and the pressure is found to be

Δ p ( x , t ) = β d V V = β s ( x , t ) x = β k s max sin ( k x ω t + ϕ ) = Δ p max sin ( k x ω t + ϕ ) .

The intensity of the sound wave is the power per unit area, and the power is the force times the velocity, I = P A = F v A = p v . Here, the velocity is the velocity of the oscillations of the medium, and not the velocity of the sound wave. The velocity of the medium is the time rate of change in the displacement:

v ( x , t ) = y s ( x , t ) = y ( s max cos ( k x ω t + ϕ ) ) = s max ω sin ( k x ω t + ϕ ) .

Thus, the intensity becomes

I = Δ p ( x , t ) v ( x , t ) = β k s max sin ( k x ω t + ϕ ) [ s max ω sin ( k x ω t + ϕ ) ] = β k ω s max 2 sin 2 ( k x ω t + ϕ ) .

To find the time-averaged intensity over one period T = 2 π ω for a position x , we integrate over the period, I = β k ω s max 2 2 . Using Δ p max = β k s max , v = β ρ , and v = ω k , we obtain

I = β k ω s max 2 2 = β 2 k 2 ω s max 2 2 β k = ω ( Δ p max ) 2 2 ( ρ v 2 ) k = v ( Δ p max ) 2 2 ( ρ v 2 ) = ( Δ p max ) 2 2 ρ v .

That is, the intensity of a sound wave is related to its amplitude squared by

I = ( Δ p max ) 2 2 ρ v .

Here, Δ p max is the pressure variation or pressure amplitude in units of pascals (Pa) or N/m 2 . The energy (as kinetic energy 1 2 m v 2 ) of an oscillating element of air due to a traveling sound wave is proportional to its amplitude squared. In this equation, ρ is the density of the material in which the sound wave travels, in units of kg/m 3 , and v is the speed of sound in the medium, in units of m/s. The pressure variation is proportional to the amplitude of the oscillation, so I varies as ( Δ p ) 2 . This relationship is consistent with the fact that the sound wave is produced by some vibration; the greater its pressure amplitude, the more the air is compressed in the sound it creates.

Human hearing and sound intensity levels

As stated earlier in this chapter, hearing is the perception of sound. The hearing mechanism involves some interesting physics. The sound wave that impinges upon our ear is a pressure wave. The ear is a transducer    that converts sound waves into electrical nerve impulses in a manner much more sophisticated than, but analogous to, a microphone. [link] shows the anatomy of the ear.

Picture is a drawing of an ear. It shows the ear canal finishing with the eardrum. Hammer connected to the anvil is in the in the contact with the eardrum. Behind the eardrum is the hammer and the anvil. The anvil is connected to the stirrup which is attached to the oval window. Cochlea, cochlear nerve and vestibular nerve are in contact with the stirrup.
The anatomy of the human ear.

The outer ear, or ear canal, carries sound to the recessed, protected eardrum. The air column in the ear canal resonates and is partially responsible for the sensitivity of the ear to sounds in the 2000–5000-Hz range. The middle ear converts sound into mechanical vibrations and applies these vibrations to the cochlea.

Watch this video for a more detailed discussion of the workings of the human ear.

The range of intensities that the human ear can hear depends on the frequency of the sound, but, in general, the range is quite large. The minimum threshold intensity that can be heard is I 0 = 10 −12 W/m 2 . Pain is experienced at intensities of I pain = 1 W/m 2 . Measurements of sound intensity (in units of W/m 2 ) are very cumbersome due to this large range in values. For this reason, as well as for other reasons, the concept of sound intensity level was proposed.

Questions & Answers

lists 5 drawing instruments and their uses
Micahlolo Reply
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Rongfang
A force F is needed to break a copper wire having radius R. The force needed to break a copper wire of radius 2R will be
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2F
Jacob
The difference between vector and scaler quantity
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vector has both magnitude & direction but scalar has only magnitude
Manash
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ron
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Inusah
use the socatoa rule
kingsley
draw force diagram, then work out the direction of force.
Rongfang
In a closed system of forces... Summation of forces in any direction or plane is zero... Resolve if there is a need to then add forces in a particular plane or direction.. Say the x direction... Equate it tk zero
Jacob
define moment of inertia
Manoj Reply
what is Euler s theorem
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what is thermocouple?
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joining of two wire of different material forming two junctions. If one is hot and another is cold the it will produce emf...
Badri
joining of two metal of different materials to form a junction in one is hot & another is cold
Manash
define dimensional analysis
Dennis Reply
mathematical derivation?
Hira
explain what Newtonian mechanics is.
Elizabeth Reply
a system of mechanics based of Newton laws motion this is easy difenation of mean...
Arzoodan
what is the meaning of single term,mechanics?
jyotirmayee
mechanics is the science related to the behavior of physical bodies when some external force is applied to them
Lalita
SO ASK What is Newtonian mechanics in physics? Newtonian physics, also calledNewtonian or classical mechanics, is the description of mechanical events—those that involve forces acting on matter—using the laws of motion and gravitation formulated in the late seventeenth century by English physicist
Suleiman
can any one send me the best reference book for physics?
Prema
concept of physics by HC verma, Fundamentals of Physics, university of physics
Bhaskar
tq u.
Prema
these are the best physics books one can fond both theory and applications.
Bhaskar
can any one suggest best book for maths with lot of Tricks?
Vivek
what is the water height in barometer?
SUNEELL
13.5*76 cm. because Mercury is 13.5 times dense than Mercury
LOVE
water is 13.5 times dense than the Mercury
LOVE
plz tell me frnds the best reference book for physics along with the names of authors.
Prema
i recomended the reference book for physics from library University of Dublin or library Trinity college
Arzoodan
A little help here... . 1. Newton's laws of Motion, are they applicable to motions of all speeds? 2.state the speeds which are applicable to Newtons laws of Motion
Derek
mechanics which follows Newtons law
Manash
The definition of axial and polar vector .
Arpita
polar vector which have a starting point or pt. of applications is,force,displacement
jyotirmayee
axial vector represent rotational effect and act along the axis of rotation b
jyotirmayee
explain the rule of free body diagram
Mithu Reply
The polar coordinates of a point are 4π/3 and 5.50m. What are its Cartesian coordinates?
Tiam Reply
application of elasticity
Nangbun Reply
good
Anwar
a boy move with a velocity of 5m/s in 4s. What is the distance covered by the boy?
anthony Reply
What is the time required for the sun to reach the earth?
anthony
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Arzoodan
velocity 20 m, s
Ahmed
the sun shines always and the earth rotates so the question should specify a place on earth and that will be 24hrs
Opoku
20m
Gabriel
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Anwar
20m
Evelyn
why 20?.
Arzoodan
v =distance/time so make distance the subject from the equation
Evelyn
20m
Olaide
exatly
Arzoodan
what is differemce between principles and laws
maaz Reply
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Anwar
how can a 50W light bulb use more energy than a 1000W oven?
Opoku Reply
That depends on how much time we use them
Phrangsngi
Define vector law of addition
Pawan Reply
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Nabin
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Pawan
And it's formula
Pawan
vectors addition is a geometric addition
Manash
Practice Key Terms 8

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Source:  OpenStax, University physics volume 1. OpenStax CNX. Sep 19, 2016 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col12031/1.5
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