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speed of sounds vs altitude

Discussion in 'MCAT Study Question Q&A' started by Oh_Gee, Sep 6, 2014.

  1. Oh_Gee

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    if sound travels faster through a denser medium, why does it speed of sound increase at a higher altitude where there is less dense air?
     
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  3. type12

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    Your understanding is incorrect: waves travel faster in a less dense medium.
     
  4. Oh_Gee

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    i thought sound traveled faster through denser solids than less dense solids?
     
  5. type12

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    Nope, they travel faster in solids not because of density, but due to elasticity. There's more than one factor, and if you are just looking at inertia, the resistance to change shape (which density is a component of) impedes the flow of a wave.
     
  6. Oh_Gee

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    is there an equation for sound traveling through solids and non solids?
     
  7. type12

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    Yes
     
  8. Oh_Gee

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    so consider solid, liquid, gas
    sound would travel faster in solids and slowest in gas right?
     
  9. ReggieD6868

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    Are you confusing speed and frequency? That may be your issue.
     
  10. Oh_Gee

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    no, i meant speed of sound
     

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