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Production of sound

Sound wave

Longitudinal Require wave
wave medium to

1. All sounds are produced by the vibrations of objects, such as vibrating

string of a violin or tuning fork.
2. Sound waves need medium such as solid, liquid or gas to propagate.
3. Air molecules vibrate as sound waves move through the air.
4. The vibration of air molecules causes the layer of air to be push together
creating a region of compression and then pull apart forming a region of
λ Travelling direction of sound

M = compression R = rarefaction
Loudness and Pitch
1. Loudness is defined as sound energy per second incident on a unit area
2. Loudness depends on the amplitude of sound wave

Soft sound - small amplitude

Loud sound - big amplitude

3. Pitch depends on the frequency of sound waves.

Low pitch - low frequency

High pitch -high frequency

Application of sound waves


Application Of
Reflection Of Sound



1.Ultrasonic waves are 1. Echolocation is a

used to locate the 1.Ultra sound method used by
position of object by scanning helps animal to navigate
measuring the time the doctors to see our in the dark and find
ultrasonic wave take to internal body food.
return to the source structures. 2. For example bats
2.Method for locating 2.Different body parts emit sound waves
objects by the reflection reflect sound waves through their mouse
of sound waves is: differently. or nose to detect the
t 3.The reflected sound location,size,shape
d=vx waves will then be and texture of an
2 captured by a insects from the echoes
d = distance scanner to produce that bounce back.
v = velocity of sound an image.
t = time

2. Example.

a) Sonar waves are emitted from the bottom of a ship which is determining
the depth of the sea. The echoes are received 0.8 s
after emission. Given that the velocity of sound is 1200 ms-1 ,
Calculate the depth of the sea at this point.

Time taken for sound to travel from ship to sea bed = x 0.8 s = 0.4 s

Velocity = distance
time taken

Depth of sea, d = velocity x time

= 1200 x 0.4
= 480 m

b) A man stands 660 m away from a cliff. He gives a shout and hears his
echo later. What is the time taken for him to hear the echo sound.
(Take the velocity of sound in air to be 330 ms-1 ).

Using v = ,where t is the time taken to hear the echo,
Therefore, t =
= 2 x 660
= 4 seconds.

ACTIVITIES (50 minutes)

1.A vibration with a frequency of 8 Hz produces a wave of wavelength 0.4 m.
What is the speed of this wave?

A. 3.2 ms-1
B. 5.0 ms-1
C. 8.4 ms-1
D. 20.0 ms-1

2. The following figure shows the propagation of a longitudinal wave. What is the
wavelength of the wave?

A. 3.0 cm
B. 6.0 cm
C. 9.0 cm
D. 12.0 cm

3. A sound wave is sent into a pool, which is 500 m deep, and the reflection of
the sound can be heard after 10 s. The velocity of the sound wave in water is

A. 100 ms-1
B. 500 ms-1
C. 5000 ms-1
D. 10000 ms-1

4. Which of the following statements about the sound is not true?

A. sound travels faster through rocks than through air

B. sound waves cannot pass through a vacuum
C. the pitch of a sound wave is related to its frequency
D. sound waves are transverse waves

5.Which graph represents the sound wave with the highest pitch?

6. Ahmad shouts in front of a high wall. He hears the echo of his voice 1.2
seconds later.
The velocity of sound in air is 340 ms-1.
What is the distance between Ahmad and the wall?

A. 204 m
B. 283 m
C. 340 m
D. 408 m
E. 816 m

7. Sound wave is a type of __________________ wave.

8. Sound wave is caused by ____________________.

9. The area of high pressure in a sound wave is where ________________
occurs and area of ___________ pressure is where ______________ occurs.

10. Sound waves cannot travel through____________________.

11. The speed sound of sound wave in water is ____________ than the speed
sound in air.

12. The pitch of sound waves depends on the ____________ of the waves.

13. The loudness of sound waves depends on the ____________ of the waves.

14. Which of the following frequencies has the highest pitch?

400 Hz 150 Hz 500 Hz 200 Hz


15. If the amplitude of a sound wave is increased, what difference would you


ASSESMENT( 40 minutes)

1. The diagram shows an ultrasonic waves transmitted from a boat to the seabed
to determine the depth ,D , of the sea. The speed of the ultrasonic waves in
water is 1500 ms-1.The echo of the waves is received 2.0 s after the

What is the value of D?

A. 375 m
B. 750 m
C. 1500 m
D. 3000 m
E. 6000 m

2. Which of the following statements best describes how sound travels from one
place to another?

A. Sound waves are transverse propagated by the vibrations of particles

B. Sound waves are transverse waves whose movements are invisible to our
C. Sound waves are longitudinal waves propagated by the vibrations of
D. Sound waves are longitudinal waves which move outwards in circles of
increasing radii

3. A compression in a sound wave refers to

A. a region where the molecules move very close together

B. a region where the wavefronts are crowded together
C. a group of molecules which vibrate to produce the sound
D. the wavefront which causes the air molecules to vibrate

4. A normal person can hear sounds whose frequencies lie between

A. 10 Hz and 10 kHz
B. 20 Hz and 20 kHz
C. 25 Hz and 25 kHz
D. 30 Hz and 30 kHz

5. Astronauts in space need to communicate with each other by radio links


A. the sound waves become distorted in space

B. some frequencies of sound are absorbed by their spacesuits
C. sound waves travel very slowly in space
D. sound waves cannot travel in space

6. On what do the pitch and the loudness of a sound wave depend?

Pitch loudness
A. amplitude frequency
B. frequency amplitude
C. frequency speed
D. speed amplitude

7. Which set of information about sound waves is correct?

Nature of wave speed of air /ms-1 speed in glass/ms-1
A. longitudinal 300 5000
B. longitudinal 300 000 000 200 000 000
C. transverse 300 5000
D. transverse 300 000 000 200 000 000

8. What is the correct order for the speed of sound in air, steel and water?

Slowest fastest
A Air steel water
B Air water steel
C Water air steel
D Water steel air

9. A sound wave from a violin has a larger amplitude than that from a flute. The
sound wave from the flute has a higher frequency than that from the violin.
Which instrument produces the louder sound and which produces the sound of
higher pitch?

Louder sound Higher pitch

A Flute Flute
B Flute Violin
C Violin Flute
D violin Violin

10. The diagrams represent sound waves displayed on an oscilloscope.

Assuming the controls of the oscilloscope remain the same for each sound,
which diagram represents the quietest sound with the highest frequency?

11. A tuning fork produces a sound of 256 Hz. What is its wavelength?
(Take the speed of sound as 340 ms-1)

12. (a) Sound is a longitudinal wave. Explain with the aid of a diagram, what is

meant by this statement.
(b) (i)Figure shows the waveform produced on an oscilloscope screen by a

State how you can tell from the waveform that

1. the loudness of the sound is decreasing

2. the frequency of the sound is constant

(ii)The separate waveforms of two whistles of different frequencies are

obtained on the oscilloscope screen at the same time. Draw the two
waveforms you would expect to see. Label the waveform that has the
higher frequency.

13. An ultrasound instrument used in industrial cleaning has a frequency of 50

kHz. If the speed of sound in water is 1500 ms-1, what is the wavelength of
the ultrasound?

14.A sound wave of frequency 220 Hz travels in air at a speed of 330 ms-1.

(i)What is the wavelength of this wave?

(ii)What difference would be heard if the amplitude of the wave was


15.(a) State the approximate range of frequencies audible to humans

Lower frequency ………Hz

Upper frequency ………Hz

(b) What property of a sound wave determines its pitch?

(c) Describe how the air pressure at a particular point changes when a
sound wave passes that point.

16.(a) Explain how an echo is formed.

(b) A boy standing 85 m from a tall building fires a starting pistol. He hears
the echo after 0.50 s. Calculate the speed of sound of sound in air.

17.Ultrasound and x-rays are both used to provide information about structures
inside the human body. Ultrasound is sound having a frequency above the
highest audible frequency that humans can hear. X-rays are a region of the
electromagnetic spectrum with the higher frequency that of visible light.

Increasing frequency

Visible x-rays

(a)(i)Name three regions of the electromagnetic spectrum other than x-rays and
visible light.


(ii)Copy the above figure and on it show the position of the three regions of the

electromagnetic spectrum that you have chosen in (i).

(iii)Write one or two sentences about each region of the spectrum that you
have chosen, describing how the electromagnetic waves are used or how
they affect people.



(iv)State one property that all parts of the electromagnetic spectrum have in


18.The figure below shows ultrasound being used to study an unborn baby.

(i)Explain how the vibrations of the source produce waves of ultrasound and
suggest how these waves are transmitted through the body tissue to the



(ii) Ultrasound used in medicine has a frequency which is about 100 times

higher than the maximum frequency that can be heard by humans.
Estimate the frequency that might be used for ultrasound in medicine, and
calculate its wavelength in the human body. The speed of ultrasound in
the human body is 1500 ms-1.


1. A
2. D
3. A
4. D
5. D
6. A
7. transverse
8. vibration
9. Compression, low, rarefraction
12. frequency
14.500 Hz
15. Pitch of the sound will increase

Answers of ASSESMENT

1. C
2. C
3. A
4. B
5. D
6. B
7. A
8. B
9. C
10. B
11.λ =

=1.32 m

12. (a) oscillation

Direction of wave motion


For a longitudinal wave, the oscillation of the medium particles are

parallel to the direction of the wave motion.
(b)(i) 1. the amplitude of the sound wave is decreasing
2.the period is constant

Waveform with higher


13. 0.03 m

14. (i)v = fλ
= 1.5 m

(ii)the sound would be louder

15.(a)lower frequency: 20 Hz
Upper frequency: 20 kHz
(b)The frequency of a sound wave determines its pitch
(c)The air pressure alternately increases and decreases when a sound wave
passes that point

16.(a)An echo is the sound heard after the reflection of sound from hard, flat

(b) v =
= 340 ms-1

17. (a) (i) radio waves, infrared, ultraviolet
Increasing frequency

Radio infrared Visible Ultra x-rays

waves light violet

(iii) radio wave – used for transmission of radio and TV signals

Infrared – used for transmission of heat energy and remote controls of
electrical appliances
ultraviolet- causes fluorescence which is used to detect counterfeit
notes, causes skin burn and skin cancer
(iv)They travel at the same speed 3.0 x 10 8 ms-1

18. (i)As the source vibrates, it produces waves of ultrasound which comprise
alternate series of compressions and rarefactions traveling in a body. The
ultrasound waves are reflected by various tissues in the body and the
reflected waves are picked up by the receiver.
(ii)frequency of ultrasound, f = 100 x 20000 = 2.0 x 10 6 Hz
2 × 106
= 7.5 x 10 -4 Hz