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You are watching: How does air temperature affect the speed of sound

just how do sound waves travel?How walk temperature influence the speed of sound?What other factors affect the speed of sound?

Today’s Wonder that the day was influenced by JIHAI. JIHAI Wonders, “Why walk the temperature effect the rate of sound?” thanks for WONDERing through us, JIHAI!


What’s today’s temperature where you live? The rising and also falling of temperature affects many parts of life. Heat days might welcome you outside to play a video game with friends. Humid or rainy afternoons do this much more difficult. Cold, snowy job can provide their very own sort of fun!

Did you know temperature deserve to even change the rate of sound? it’s true! room you wonder how? Let’s begin by talking about what sound is. Sound waves room made by vibrations. The waves can not travel v a vacuum—they rely on the molecules of any given medium. This molecules lug sound waves from their source to your ears!

What walk temperature need to do v this? friend may have actually learned a bit around this topic in school. Warmth is a form of energy—the much faster a medium’s molecule move, the greater its temperature is. As soon as these molecules move slower, the temperature cools.

Look around you. Whatever you see is do from molecules: computer screens, home plants, pieces of paper, and even your very own body! The air you’re breathing likewise contains molecules. The temperature exterior on any given job is determined by the rate of wait molecules.

On warm days, wait molecules relocate faster. That method they also carry sound waves faster, boosting the rate of sounds. Deserve to you assumption: v what happens on the coldest winter days? If friend think sound travel slower, she right! waiting molecules move at a slower pace once the temperature is cold, therefore they carry sound tide at a slower speed as well.

Of course, rate isn’t everything. Have you ever noticed that you’re able come hear sound from farther far on cold days? it’s not just your imagination! if sound moves faster in warmth air, the doesn’t take trip as far as it does in cooler temperatures.

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Temperature no the only thing the affects the rate of sound. Because that instance, humidity likewise has one impact. By do air much less dense, short humidity help sound waves move faster. Air press can also make a difference.

The next time you’re trying to find a fun outdoor activity, try experimenting through sound. Note the wait temperature, and then invite part friends to help you see exactly how far and also fast various sounds can carry. Have fun learning much more about just how sound waves travel!


typical Core, next Generation science Standards, and National Council because that the society Studies.">Standards: NGSS.PS4.A, NGSS.PS1.A, NGSS.PS3.A, CCRA.R.1, CCRA.R.2, CCRA.R.4, CCRA.R.10, CCRA.L.3, CCRA.W.4, CCRA.W.7, CCRA.W.8, CCRA.L.6, CCRA.SL.1, CCRA.SL.2


Wonder Sources

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