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Module 1: The wave equation

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The reflection, transmission and absorption of sound

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XSIQ
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Physics - The reflection, transmission and absorption of sound

The reflection, transmission and absorption of sound

Anyone who has experienced clearly defined echoes would realise that sound
waves can reflect from surfaces. The harder and smoother the surface the
more likely it is that a sound wave will be reflected. When sound is
incident upon a surface some of the energy will be reflected and some of
the energy will be transmitted into the surface. The transmitted energy may
be absorbed by the surface and converted to heat, or may be transmitted
into a room behind the surface, for example. In some circumstances it is
desirable to ensure that sound is not transmitted into a nearby room and so
thick hard walls are used to soundproof the room containing the source of
the sound. At other times it is desirable to reduce all echoes in a room
and so the inside walls are lined with soft irregular surfaces to maximise
sound absorption.

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