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ZingPath: Sound Interaction with Materials

Sound Energy

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Sound Interaction with Materials

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Lesson Focus

Sound Energy


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You get to expand your knowledge of waves by studying the interaction of sound waves with different materials.

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Now You Know

After completing this tutorial, you will be able to complete the following:

  • Explain how sound waves interact with the environment.
  • Explain the types of energy that sound energy turns into.

Everything You'll Have Covered

Why does a sound seem softer to a person farther away from the source than a person close to the source?

~ A sound seems softer to a person farther away from the source because, as the sound waves move away from the source, the intensity of the sound waves naturally decreases as the waves spread out over a larger area. This decreases the loudness of the sound. In addition, the intensity of the sound waves may also be reduced as they interact with objects around them and transfer energy to them.

What are some ways sound waves interact with objects in their environment?

~ As sound waves move through an environment, they may pass through some objects or be reflected or absorbed by others.

What happens to the energy lost by sound waves traveling away from a source?

~ As sound waves move farther and farther away from the source, the sound wave energy is eventually converted into another type of energy, such as thermal energy.

How is kinetic energy related to sound energy?

~ Kinetic energy and sound energy are closely related because, in many cases, the decreasing energy of sound waves is converted into kinetic energy. Also, the sound wave itself is the motion of air particles, and it therefore has kinetic energy.

Tutorial Details

Approximate Time 2 Minutes
Pre-requisite Concepts Students should have a general understanding of the following terms: energy, sound, and sound energy.
Course Physics
Type of Tutorial Animation
Key Vocabulary energy, sound, sound energy