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SITEMAP   Physics Notes: SOUND WAVES: properties, ultrasound & uses, infrasound

UK GCSE level age ~14-16 ~US grades 9-10 Scroll down, take time to study content or follow links

Properties of, and experiments with, Sound Waves

including reflection, refraction and diffraction of sound waves, ultrasound uses and infrasound earthquake waves - characteristics explained with diagrams, uses of sound waves


This section will answer many questions e.g.  Why is sound a longitudinal wave?  Why can't sound travel through a vacuum?  Know that and understand that sound waves and some mechanical waves are longitudinal, and cannot travel through a vacuum. Describe an experiment to measure the speed of sound. What are the uses of ultrasound?  Why can some earthquake waves be the same as sound waves?


Sub-index for this section sound

1. Introduction to sound waves: longitudinal waves, calculations - wave equation

2. Explaining reflection, refraction and diffraction of sound waves with models

3. Sound and human hearing and displaying frequencies on a CRO

4. Sound: health and safety, hearing frequency ranges, microphone & loudspeaker

5. Echo of sound, calculations, absorption of sound waves, soundproofing

6. Experiments to measure the speed of sound in air and a solid

7. Ultrasound waves - ultrasonic sound, its uses and calculations

8. Infrasound waves - animals and earthquake waves

See also The senses (GCSE biology notes)


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WAVES - electromagnetic radiation, sound, optics-lenses, light and astronomy revision notes index

General introduction to the types and properties of waves, ripple tank expts, how to do wave calculations

Illuminated & self-luminous objects, reflection visible light, ray box experiments, ray diagrams, mirror uses

Refraction and diffraction, the visible light spectrum, prism investigations, ray diagrams explained

Electromagnetic spectrum, sources, types, properties, uses (including medical) and dangers

The absorption and emission of radiation by materials - temperature & surface factors including global warming

See also Global warming, climate change, reducing our carbon footprint from fossil fuel burning

Optics - types of lenses (convex, concave, uses), experiments and ray diagrams, correction of eye defects

The visible spectrum of colour, light filters and explaining the colour of objects

Sound waves, properties explained, speed measure, uses of sound, ultrasound, infrasound, earthquake waves

The Structure of the Earth, crust, mantle, core and earthquake waves (seismic wave analysis)

Astronomy - solar system, stars, galaxies and use of telescopes and satellites

The life cycle of stars - mainly worked out from emitted electromagnetic radiation

Cosmology - the Big Bang Theory of the Universe, the red-shift & microwave background radiation


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