Sound is vibration, as perceived by the sense of hearing. Vibrations usually travel to our ears through the air; the ear converts them into nerve impulses sent to our brains, where the impulses become sound. In more technical language, sound "is an alternation in pressure, particle displacement, or particle velocity propagated in an elastic material" (Olson 1957) or series of mechanical compressions and rarefactions or longitudinal waves that successively propagate through media that are at least a little compressible (solid, liquid or gas but not vacuum). In sound waves parts of matter (molecules or groups of molecules) move in a direction of the spreading of the disturbance (as opposite to transversal waves). The cause of sound waves is called the source of waves, e.g. a violin string vibrating upon being bowed or plucked. A sound wave is usually represented graphically by a wavy, horizontal line; the upper part of the wave (the crest) indicates a compression and the lower part (the trough) indicates a rarefaction.

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October 22, 2015 at 11:31:52 UTC
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