Sound is part of our everyday lives. Just like we have eyes for, we are given ears for hearing sound. We rarely take the time to think about the characteristics of sound and the ways that they are made. The basis for an understanding of sound and hearing is the physics of waves. Sound is a wave, which is created by vibrating objects and spread through a medium from one location to another. In this paper, we will look at the nature, properties and behaviors of sound waves. A wave can be described as a disturbance that travels through a medium, transporting energy from one location to another location. The medium is simply the material through which the sound, or disturbance, is moving; it can be thought of as a series of interacting particles. The example of a slinky wave is often used to illustrate the nature of a wave. A disturbance is typically created within the slinky by the back and forth movement of the first coil of the slinky. The first coil becomes disturbed and begins to push or pull on the second coil; this push or pull on the second coil will shift the second coil from its balanced position. As the second coil becomes shifted, it begins to push or pull on the third coil; the push or pull on the third coil displaces it from its balanced position. As the third coil becomes shifted, it begins to push or pull on the fourth coil. This process continues one after the other, each individual particle acting to displace the neighboring particle; eventually the disturbance travels all the way through the slinky. As the disturbance moves from coil to coil, the energy which was originally introduced into the first coil is transported along the medium from one location to another. A sound wave is similar to a slinky for a couple of reasons. First, there is a medium, which carries the disturbance from one location to another. Usually, this medium is air; though it could be any material such as water or steel. The medium is simpl…
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