Sound waves move through different mediums at different speeds, but why is this? What factors affect the speed of sound?
- Speed of sound depends on many different factors.
- Temperature, elasticity and density influence the speed of sound.
- The speed varies between solids, liquids and gases.
- It is impossible to determine a definitive speed of sound.
The speed of sound is often said to be 343m/s, but this is only in very specific conditions - when sound is traveling through air at 20°C.
Air = 20°C
Speed of sound = 343m/s
In other conditions, this value can be very different.
Sound travels over four times faster through water than air.
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