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  Sound The Nature of SoundEars and Speakers  Spring 2006UCSD: Physics 8; 20062 What   IS   Sound? ã Sound is really tiny fluctuations of   air pressure  – units of pressure: N/m 2 or psi (lbs/square-inch) ã   Carried through air at 345 m/s (770 m.p.h) as   compressions   and   rarefactions   in air pressure wavelengthcompressed gasrarefied gas  Spring 2006UCSD: Physics 8; 20063 Properties of Waves ã Wavelength   (      )   is measured from crest   -   to   -   crest  – or trough-to-trough, or upswing to upswing, etc. ã   For traveling waves (sound, light, water), there is a   speed   (   c    ) ã Frequency   (   f    ) refers to how many cycles pass by per second  – measured in Hertz, or Hz: cycles per second  – associated with this is period: T = 1/f  ã   These three are closely related:  f  = c   or T horizontal axis could be:space: representingsnapshot in timetime: representingsequence at a par-ticular point in space       p      r      e      s      s      u      r      e  Spring 2006UCSD: Physics 8; 20064 Longitudinal vs. Transverse Waves ã Sound is a   longitudinal   wave, meaning that the motion of particles is   along    the direction of propagation ã   Transverse   waves   —   water waves, light   —   have things moving   perpendicular    to the direction of propagation
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