This is the second part of a small series on the topic of sound. In the first part we dealt with ‘The Perception of Sound’. Here we now try to clarify physical facts of sound propagation in gases. In particular, we derive the one-dimensional wave equation from a simple model.
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A sound source oscillates and causes small pressure fluctuations in the surrounding air, gas or fluid, causing particles to start moving outwards. With the mass and compressibility of the air, the fluctuations are transmitted to the listener’s ear.