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Sound Propagation in Different Environments

What is Sound?
Free Field
Sound Field
Rooms
Sound in Motion

What is Sound?
Alternating condensation and rarefaction of

molecules that are propagated across a


medium.

Properties of a Sound Source


Mass
Elasticity
E.g., tuning fork.
As you vary the
mass and elasticity
you will change its
natural frequency.
All sound sources
have mass &
elasticity.

Properties of a Medium
Mediums (e.g., air molecules) also have

mass and stiffness.


Medium is not displaced over an
appreciable distance.
Sound needs a medium, it cannot propagate
in a vacuum.

Effect of Medium on Speed of Sound

Inverse Square Law

Inverse Square Law


http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/

acoustic/invsqs.html

Inverse Square Law


Bottom Line:
In a free field, the sound pressure will decrease
6.02 dB for every doubling of distance.
In a sound field, the inverse square law doesnt
hold because of reflection and diffraction of
sound waves.

Free Field
Any acoustic field that is free of reflective

surfaces.

Anechoic Chamber

Sound Field
Any field that has reflective surfaces.
Virtually all acoustic fields are sound fields.

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Sound Fields

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Sound Fields

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Sound Fields

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Sound Fields

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Sound Fields

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Constructive and Destructive


Interference

Involves addition of two or more waveforms. Waves can be from


different sources or one source where sound has been reflected.

Constructive Interference - 0 to 120 degree phase difference


Destructive Interference - 120 to 180 degree phase difference
If waves are 0 degrees phase and are of the same amplitude you will see a
6 dB increase in sound pressure.
If waves are 180 degrees phase and are of the same amplitude you will
have silence (Remember: silence 0 dB).

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Constructive and Destructive


Interference
In this example, the reflected (secondary) wave arrives out

of phase from primary wave.

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Standing Waves
Reflection of waveforms (i.e., standing

waves)
Results in areas of constructive and
destructive interference, and occurs in a
system that is enclosed at both ends

e.g., ear canal with hearing aid or earphones, or


sound treated room.

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Standing Waves

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Doppler Effect
As object approaches, the frequency is

higher than expected. (e.g., 1000 Hz source


might be perceived 1500 Hz).
When object recedes, the frequency
decreases.
The effect is directly related to speed of the
object.
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Doppler Effect

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Summary

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