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d V V = lim Δ x 0 A [ s ( x + Δ x , t ) s ( x , t ) ] A Δ x = s ( x , t ) x .

The fractional change in volume is related to the pressure fluctuation by the bulk modulus     β = Δ p ( x , t ) d V / V . Recall that the minus sign is required because the volume is inversely related to the pressure. (We use lowercase p for pressure to distinguish it from power, denoted by P .) The change in pressure is therefore Δ p ( x , t ) = β d V V = β s ( x , t ) x . If the sound wave is sinusoidal, then the displacement as shown in [link] is s ( x , t ) = s max cos ( k x ω t + ϕ ) and the pressure is found to be

Δ p ( x , t ) = β d V V = β s ( x , t ) x = β k s max sin ( k x ω t + ϕ ) = Δ p max sin ( k x ω t + ϕ ) .

The intensity of the sound wave is the power per unit area, and the power is the force times the velocity, I = P A = F v A = p v . Here, the velocity is the velocity of the oscillations of the medium, and not the velocity of the sound wave. The velocity of the medium is the time rate of change in the displacement:

v ( x , t ) = y s ( x , t ) = y ( s max cos ( k x ω t + ϕ ) ) = s max ω sin ( k x ω t + ϕ ) .

Thus, the intensity becomes

I = Δ p ( x , t ) v ( x , t ) = β k s max sin ( k x ω t + ϕ ) [ s max ω sin ( k x ω t + ϕ ) ] = β k ω s max 2 sin 2 ( k x ω t + ϕ ) .

To find the time-averaged intensity over one period T = 2 π ω for a position x , we integrate over the period, I = β k ω s max 2 2 . Using Δ p max = β k s max , v = β ρ , and v = ω k , we obtain

I = β k ω s max 2 2 = β 2 k 2 ω s max 2 2 β k = ω ( Δ p max ) 2 2 ( ρ v 2 ) k = v ( Δ p max ) 2 2 ( ρ v 2 ) = ( Δ p max ) 2 2 ρ v .

That is, the intensity of a sound wave is related to its amplitude squared by

I = ( Δ p max ) 2 2 ρ v .

Here, Δ p max is the pressure variation or pressure amplitude in units of pascals (Pa) or N/m 2 . The energy (as kinetic energy 1 2 m v 2 ) of an oscillating element of air due to a traveling sound wave is proportional to its amplitude squared. In this equation, ρ is the density of the material in which the sound wave travels, in units of kg/m 3 , and v is the speed of sound in the medium, in units of m/s. The pressure variation is proportional to the amplitude of the oscillation, so I varies as ( Δ p ) 2 . This relationship is consistent with the fact that the sound wave is produced by some vibration; the greater its pressure amplitude, the more the air is compressed in the sound it creates.

Human hearing and sound intensity levels

As stated earlier in this chapter, hearing is the perception of sound. The hearing mechanism involves some interesting physics. The sound wave that impinges upon our ear is a pressure wave. The ear is a transducer    that converts sound waves into electrical nerve impulses in a manner much more sophisticated than, but analogous to, a microphone. [link] shows the anatomy of the ear.

Picture is a drawing of an ear. It shows the ear canal finishing with the eardrum. Hammer connected to the anvil is in the in the contact with the eardrum. Behind the eardrum is the hammer and the anvil. The anvil is connected to the stirrup which is attached to the oval window. Cochlea, cochlear nerve and vestibular nerve are in contact with the stirrup.
The anatomy of the human ear.

The outer ear, or ear canal, carries sound to the recessed, protected eardrum. The air column in the ear canal resonates and is partially responsible for the sensitivity of the ear to sounds in the 2000–5000-Hz range. The middle ear converts sound into mechanical vibrations and applies these vibrations to the cochlea.

Watch this video for a more detailed discussion of the workings of the human ear.

The range of intensities that the human ear can hear depends on the frequency of the sound, but, in general, the range is quite large. The minimum threshold intensity that can be heard is I 0 = 10 −12 W/m 2 . Pain is experienced at intensities of I pain = 1 W/m 2 . Measurements of sound intensity (in units of W/m 2 ) are very cumbersome due to this large range in values. For this reason, as well as for other reasons, the concept of sound intensity level was proposed.

Questions & Answers

An object undergoes constant acceleration after starting from rest and then travels 5m in the first seconds .determine how far it will go in the next seconds
Sophy Reply
x=x0+v0t+1/2at^2
Grant
what is the deference between precision and accuracy
ShAmy
In measurement of a set, accuracy refers to closeness of the measurements to a specific value, while precision refers to the closeness of the measurements to each other. 
Grant
Thank you Mr..
ShAmy
Are there is a difference between Error and Relative Error...
ShAmy
An aircraft flies 300km due east and 600km due north. determine the magnitude of its displacement
Sophy Reply
670.8km
iyiola
which formula did you use
Sophy
X^2=300^2+600^2
iyiola
what is Fermat principle.
Madhu Reply
find the angle of projection at which the horizontal range is twice the maximum height of a projectile
Akaji Reply
impulse by height fomula
Tigst Reply
Hello
Madue
what is impulse?
Tigst Reply
impulse is the integral of a force (F),over the interval for which it act
Agbeyangi
What is significance of vector?
jagan Reply
magnitude and direction
Chris
what is impulse?
Enimini Reply
the product of force and time
Robert
find the flow rate of a fluid of viscosity 0.0015N-s/m³ flowing through a pipe of radius 50cm and length 100m at a pressure differential of 200000N/m²
Okoli Reply
friend ,what is the equation your question
lasitha
What is victor
Moses Reply
How are you all?
Giorgi Reply
what is the formula for momentum?
Chisom Reply
p=mv
Grant
what is the formula for angular displacement ?
lasitha
angular displacement = l/r
anand
friend ,what is the " l "?
lasitha
I have another problem,what is the difference between pure chemistry and applied chemistry ?
lasitha
l stands for linear displacement and l>>r
anand
r stands for radius or position vector of particle
anand
pure chemistry is related to classical and basic concepts of chemistry while applied Chemistry deals with it's application oriented concepts and procedures.
anand
what is the deference between precision and accuracy?
ShAmy
I think in general both are same , more accuracy means more precise
anand
and lessor error
anand
friends,how to find correct applied chemistry notes?
lasitha
what are the main concepts of applied chemistry ?
lasitha
anand,can you give an example for angular displacement ?
lasitha
when any particle rotates or revolves about something , an axis or point ,then angle traversed is angular displacement
anand
like a revolving fan
anand
yeah ,I understood now, thanks!
lasitha
o need this application in French language
Diacre Reply
Why is it that the definition is not there
Bello
what is physics
mesfin Reply
the study of matter in relation to energy
Robert
Ampher law
Zia
how do convert acceleration
Idrees Reply
multiply by 3.6
Robert
Practice Key Terms 8

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Source:  OpenStax, University physics volume 1. OpenStax CNX. Sep 19, 2016 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col12031/1.5
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