What natural medium/media can you use to propagate sound?
if not any medium from nature, what can you use for sound propagation that is cheap.
or any suggestion on how to optimize the sounds in a church, like what shape and materials to use.
Suggestion by ItsMe
Sound propagates through a media with or without distortion. The nature of the material determines how much distortion will occur. Most sound is propagated with some distortion (it’s impossible to propagate it with no distortion – but this is due mostly becuase of the types of media available in the world – most have incongruencies – which cause distortion).
I’ll assume you want propagation it with no/minimal distortion. To do that, you need to use a medium (matter, material) with very few internal fractures or heterogeneities. For example, rocks (a large slab of uniform rock) – such as a large piece of homogeneous marble or slate will transfer sound fairly well. However, if it’s too thin (e.g. applied on the floor or wall), if could also resonate in a perpendicular (planar) direction causing unwanted vibrations or bass effects. Or if it has visible/internal “veins” or discolorations, the more of those the more distortion will occur. Such “veins” are actually another material that’s filled into internal fractures – thus creating discontinuities in the material’s composition.
The physics of it deals with having a single solid piece of material that has a uniform/exact crystal lattice structure for its internal atoms/molecules. Ideally, the material should be composed of a single element (e.g. Fe, “Iron”) to make the internal lattice even more uniform and easier to construct.
For example, an ideal semi-natural material would be a single solid piece of iron, like an I-beam. However, it’s rare for an I-beam to exist in nature (that’s why I called it “semi-natural”), and also even I-beams have some internal fractures/discontinuities though small or minimal. It depends on the quality and process controls used to manufacture them. This is also why, when you hit an I-beam, it resonates and the sound goes through its entire length so easily – it’s a great carrier of sound and it doesn’t distort it much. Though, if you could find iron in a perfectly block shape (without the upper/lower “tabs” present on the I-beam), this would be even better and more efficient (distortion-free).
Another natural material that would be good – but difficult to create and maintain – is a large solid piece of ice made from pure water, that’s been formed/annealed to prevent internal fractures.
You could even use a metal tube, such as a copper pipe – this is similar to how mechanical organs work. However, if the pipe is used to transfer/propagate multiple frequencies, it will not be ideal since only some frequencies will be efficiently transmitted and others won’t (based on the diameter of the pipe, its wall thickness, and the density/volume of air present within the tube).
Out of these, a large homogeneous iron block/bar should be easiest to find and install in a church.
What do you think? Answer below!
Why does sound need a medium for transmission whereas the electromagnetic waves doesnt ?
Why does sound require a medium for transmission or propagation. But this is not the case with electromagnetic waves. Why?
Suggestion by F C
Think of electromagnetic waves as two fields of force, one magnetic and at right angles to this an electric force field. These two fields are created and moving away from their source. They are complete in themselves and do not need to reach a target by influencing anything inbetween the source and target.
The ear responds to pressure waves in the the air. When the air changes from a force the ear detects it as sound. When you clap you affect the air molecules between your hands. These bump into the air molecules all around them and the enrgy is transferred down the line, molecule to molecule to your ear.
By nature sound is force transmitted through a medium to a detector that picks up the change in the medium. EM waves are fields that do not affect the medium but travel through and indpendent of it.
Suggestion by bagofmilk
This is technically true. Sound requires a medium of transmission to exhibit energy waves. Sound is not energy therefore it needs a medium to be transfered.
Electromagnetic waves require ‘Free Space’ to propogate energy.
Because ‘free space’ is always in existence its assumed that electromagnetic waves do not require any other medium to be transferred.
Suggestion by dkillinx
Sound waves require a medium to travel, because a sound wave is merely a compression that’s transmitted through a medium such as air, water, or solid objects like a steel rod.
If you’ve ever seen a newton’s cradle, sound waves are transmitted in much the same way. The compression wave is transmitted by a molecule being thrust forward until it transmits it’s momentum into another molecule and so on. That’s why there’s no sound in a vacuum, there’s not enough molecules to transmit the compression of the sound wave, and why the denser an object the faster sound will travel through it.
EM waves are unique and almost magical in a way. They don’t need a medium to be transmitted, in fact they move at light speed and are self propogating.
The electrical half generates a magnetic half of a wave, then the magnetic half generates the other electrical half of the electrical wave, which generates the other half of the magnetic wave, and the cycle repeats from there. So with that method EM waves don’t require a medium for transmission.
I hope this helps you out.
Know better? Leave your own answer in the comments!