You are here:

Physics/Sound

Advertisement


Question
Why does sound travel faster in solid? I know that particles are more closer in solids but this should prevent oscillation of particles and reduce sounds speed...

Answer
Because solid molecules are directly bound and don't require them to travel before interacting, as soon as molecules in a solid move their nearby neighbors feel a force corresponding to their movement.  In a gas, this doesn't happen until the molecules travel a distance and then scatter from one another, delaying the process of moving their neighboring molecules in the sound wave.

Physics

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Dr. Stephen O. Nelson

Expertise

I can answer most basic physics questions, physics questions about science fiction and everyday observations of physics, etc. I'm also usually good for science fair advice (I'm the regional science fair director). I do not answer homework problems. I will occasionally point out where a homework solution went wrong, though. I'm usually good at explaining odd observations that seem counterintuitive, energy science, nuclear physics, nuclear astrophysics, and alternative theories of physics are my specialties.

Experience

I was a physics professor at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin, research in nuclear technology and nuclear astrophysics. My travelling science show saw over 20,000 students of all ages. I taught physics, nuclear chemistry, radiation safety, vacuum technology, and answer tons of questions as I tour schools encouraging students to consider careers in science. I moved on to a non-academic job with more research just recently.

Education/Credentials
Ph. D. from Duke University in physics, research in nuclear astrophysics reactions, gamma-ray astronomy technology, and advanced nuclear reactors.

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.