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ZingPath: Sound Interaction with Materials

The Interaction of Sound with Objects

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Sound Interaction with Materials

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Lesson Focus

The Interaction of Sound with Objects


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You wil 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 what happens when sound waves encounter a surface.
  • Explain how sound conduction can be reduced.

Everything You'll Have Covered

What happens to sound when we listen to music in our room?

~ When we listen to music in our room, the sound that hits solid objects is reflected, conducted, and absorbed to varying degrees.

How should walls be constructed so that they reduce the amount of sound conducted?

~ A sponge-like material with low noise reflection and high noise absorption coefficients should be used, and the thickness of the walls should be increased. In addition, an air gap should be placed inside the wall to help decrease sound conduction.

How does having an air gap inside a wall decrease sound conduction?

~ The sound that is absorbed by the solid portion of the wall will reach the air gap. Most of the sound that reaches the air gap will be reflected and then reabsorbed by the wall. The sound that is not reflected by the air gap will be absorbed by the other side of the wall. Therefore, almost all of the sound ends up being absorbed by the wall.

What are some materials with good sound-absorption properties?

~ Fiberglass and plastic foam both have good sound-absorption properties.

Tutorial Details

Approximate Time 2 Minutes
Pre-requisite Concepts Students should be familiar with the terms absorption, conduction, and physics.
Course Physics
Type of Tutorial Animation
Key Vocabulary absorption, conduction, physics