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The loudness of a sound wave is determined by its amplitude.

# Waves - Sound

This GCSE Physics quiz on waves looks at sound. Sound energy travels as a longitudinal wave. Sound waves travel through a medium in a different way to electromagnetic waves, they require particles to travel across a distance. The particles vibrate in a series of compressions and rarefactions as the wave passes. A compression is where the particles of the medium are pushed closer together by the wave and rarefactions are the opposite. The vibrations occur in the same direction as the wave is travelling. As the wave travels through the medium, the particles are displaced, but after the wave has passed, they are in the same position as they started. It is the energy carried by the wave that moves, not the particles. Sound is therefore a mechanical wave and cannot travel through a vacuum. This is why we can see the Sun but we can't hear it and is also partly why double and triple glazing in homes and offices reduces the sound coming from outside.

1.
What is the pitch of a sound determined by?
Its amplitude
Its frequency
The medium through which it travels
Sound waves all have the same pitch
On the tonic sol-fa (doh, ray, mi etc) the first doh has a lower pitch than ray, which has a lower pitch than mi and so on
2.
What kind of a wave is a sound wave?
Latitudinal
Electromagnetic
Longitudinal
Transverse
The energy and vibrations are in the same direction
3.
A car horn produces a sound wave of frequency 680 Hz. When the sound wave is travelling through air, it has a wavelength of 0.5 m. What is the speed of the sound wave?
300 m/s
330 m/s
340 m/s
400 m/s
Light travels much faster so during a thunderstorm you see the lightning before hearing the thunder. If you count the time taken for the thunder to arrive after the flash, for every 3 seconds you count, the lightning was about one kilometre away
4.
If a sound wave is made louder, what happens to the amount of energy the wave has?
The energy increases
The energy decreases
The energy remains constant
The pressure difference between compressions and rarefactions is greater
5.
What is the loudness of a sound wave determined by?
The medium through which it travels
Its amplitude
Its frequency
Sound waves all have the same loudness
A larger amplitude means the energy carried by the waves is bigger, but the frequency and wavelength remain the same
6.
If the pitch of a sound wave is increased, does the time period between waveforms increase or decrease?
Increases
Decreases
Remains the same
Randomly changes to a discrete value
Increasing the pitch means the sound wave vibrates more rapidly therefore there will be less time between the arrival of each successive compression or rarefaction
7.
What are echoes?
An impressionist repeating the noise
Reflections of sounds
Reflections of light
Refraction of sounds
Common examples used in the GCSE are sonar from ships and submarines to measure depth, bats using echo location to find their prey and echoes in the mountains
8.
The car horn and car unfortunately find themselves under water in a river. The car horn still produces a sound wave with a frequency of 680 Hz, however the speed of the sound is dramatically increased to 1485 m/s. What is the wavelength of the sound wave in water?
0.46 m
0.92 m
2.18 m
1,009,800 m
The denser the medium, the faster a sound wave will travel
9.
How do sound waves travel?
Vibrations through a medium
Via a carrier particle called a photon
Via a carrier particle called a neutrino
Sound waves can only travel in a vacuum
They are waves of alternating higher and lower pressure
10.
What is an ultrasound wave?
An ultrasound wave is a sound wave which has a frequency higher than 20 kHz
An ultrasound wave is a sound wave which has the same frequency as an audible sound wave, however it has much greater energy
Ultrasound waves are transverse waves
There are no such things as ultrasound waves
20 kHz is the average upper limit for human hearing. Many animals including cats, dogs and bats can hear ultrasound