The Physics Of Mechanical Waves Essay

944 words - 4 pages

Sound is one of the most common and substantial forms of energy that envelops our everyday life. Sound is a product of mechanical waves that initiates the natural frequency of an object. This natural frequency sends out vibrating waves that we hear as sound. In order to better understand mechanical waves and electrical impulses you must first be able to understand the properties of waves, speakers and electrical signals.
A key component that is crucial in understanding sound is waves. There are two types of mechanical waves, longitudinal and transverse. In both waves the particles must move with the medium. A medium is the type of object or material that carries the energy through a ...view middle of the document...

When they are constricted like this it creates high pressure waves. This field of air is known as compression. However on the other side of the object there is an area where the particles are spread apart. The Separation of these particles creates a low pressure wave. This area is known as a rarefaction.
The final thing you must know when understanding how waves work is resonance. Resonance is the vibration that occurs when a driving frequency matches the natural frequency of a driven object. Every single object on this planet has a natural frequency. Natural frequency is the frequency at which an object will begin to vibrate. This vibration is converted to what we all know as sound. A prime example of resonance would be rubbing a wet finger around the top edges of a wine glass.
Humans have a very complex and efficient way of interpreting sound. The ear is made up of three fractions. The external, middle and inner. The middle contains the eardrum, which is essential in interpreting sound. The eardrum is a small piece of membrane that picks up vibrations. The eardrum can pick up anything from 20 to 20,000 Hz. These vibrations are then passed to the inner ear where it goes through the cochlea. The cochlea converts the vibrations into electrical signals. These electrical signals are then transferred to the brain and deciphered.
The next step in understanding sound is speakers. A speaker is a device that converts electrical signals and produces acoustical energy. A speaker moves up and down creating air pressure that is generated into sound waves. Speakers are complex devices made up of many parts.
One major component of a speaker is the magnet. The magnet creates a magnetic field that...

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