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What is sound propagation?

Sound is formed from vibrations and pressure waves in a medium such as air or water. Sound is transferred energy from kinetic energy. A sound pressure wave has a compression and refraction in it. Imagining sound propagation and the pressure waves that form after the incident picture a stone being dropped into a still pond.

The stone hitting the water causes waves. This is sound propagation. The sound is just like the waves in the water from the rock/stone. A big rock will release lots of energy in the form of a big wave from the sound propagation. A small rock would cause a smaller wave. So the sound propagation is the source of the waves.

sound propagation

The speed of sound propagation?

Sound is a wave but in many different directions all colliding with each other like a rock in a bucket. In propagation terms, the speed of sound propagation is dictated through what medium the sound is travelling through, temperature and other factors. In air at 15 degrees Celsius at sea level the speed of sound is roughly 340.3 metres/second. At 25 degrees Celsius the speed is around 346.1 metres/second.

Propagation is also faster in mediums where particles and atoms are closer together and compact. In a diamond, which is one of the densest constructs of carbon atoms, the speed of sound is around 12,000 metres a second. Though getting  12,000 metres of diamond is hard to come by. You maybe interested in seeing a list of different speeds of sound in water and types of wood. View the speed of sound here.

So I hope this blog on propagation explains the process easily. Feel free to comment below the related posts on this article and what you think or notice about propagation that would benefit others. Comments and sharing is always much appreciated.




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Matt Price

Matt Price

London Sound Recordist

I am a London Sound Recordist and Sound Editor for many types of projects around the film genres. This covers creative content right through to feature films. I am passionate about sharing my journey and knowledge to help the rest of the community. If you need anything from me, feel free to get in touch with me at London Sound Recordist.

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