What are sound waves with definition? What is sound? Characteristics of sound? Properties of sound?  

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bandmanjoe eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Sound is one phenomenon in the world that takes the place of compressional, or longitudinal, waves.  Sound waves are mechanical in nature, meaning they have to have a medium through which to travel.  The only reason you hear someone speaking to you is there are air molecules to transfer the vibrations from their mouth to your ear.  As the density of the medium increases, so does the speed at which sound travels.

Sound waves take the form of longitudinal waves.  A good pictorial example of this would be to take a child's "slinky" toy, the one where it is a series of wire coils, lay it on a flat surface.  Give the slinky a push long-wise, along the length of it's body.  The coils compress and then lengthen out against each other.  This is the way sound waves progress.

Properties of sound waves include frequency, wavelength, amplitude, speed, and direction.  All these describe the multiplicity of various sounds that occur in the natural world.  Sound is detected in humans and other members of the animal world through the ear, which is a sense organ designed to collect sound waves and feed them to the brain, which interprets the various input as hearing.

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