Acoustic Modules (Series: Education in Acoustics)

Module #1

Sound – what it is, and how it affects comfort

Sound is one of the 5 senses (in addition to touch, sight, smell and feel). Sound is caused by a molecular chain-reaction, where there is a source that emits vibrations in the air which then stimulate air molecules to move. These air molecules are pushed away from the source (technically, this causes decompression of the air on the other side of the source, which in turn pulls the molecules forward). As these vibrational air waves move, they travel with a certain frequency, affecting their height and distance.
As the sound waves move, they either dissipate or they find their way to ones’ eardrum, where the vibrations are processed and the signal transmits to the brain, enabling the sound to be ‘heard’. The louder the source (ie: the stronger the oscillating vibrations to the air), the louder the sound will be, and all other things equal, the farther it will travel.