Sound Interactions

Sound waves often interact with many objects before we hear them. Understanding and controlling those interactions is a major part of acoustic engineering. The animations above show shock waves–sound–from a trumpet interacting with different objects. The sound is made visible using the schlieren optical technique, allowing us to observe the reflection, absorption, and transmission of sound as it hits different surfaces. Fiberboard, for example, is highly reflective, redirecting the sound waves along a new path without a lot of damping. In contrast, the metal grid is only weakly reflective and a small portion of the incoming sound wave is transmitted through the grid. To see more examples, check out the full video, and, if you want to learn more about acoustics, check out Listen To This Noise.  (Image credits: C. Echeverria et al., source video)

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