We tend to take sound for granted. Oh sure, we might be grateful for having ears that work to allow us to hear sound, but sound itself is something that we tend to take for granted sometimes, because it's everywhere.

Virtually everything around us makes some kind of noise, or emits a sound wave of some kind, which may vary in volume, pitch and frequency. And as with most things that have physics involved, surround-sound audio is based on scientific measurements so that you have a full sound experience with sound coming from all directions.

But do you remember much about sound from your high school physics class? Like, how long is a wavelength? How is it defined? How fast does sound travel?

Sound is particular type of wave, just like light. Sound is created by a disturbance in the air (or water) with a wave that is about a meter long and travels at about 1,100 feet per second. A wavelength is defined as a full cycle through one compression (the upswing of the wave) and a rarefaction (the downswing).

Sound can be altered by pitch and volume. Pitch is changed by changing the length of the wave; a shorter wavelength will result in a higher pitch, while a longer wave means a lower pitch. A taller wave increases the volume, while a shorter wave lowers the volume.

Volume can also be changed by combining two sound waves together. If two waves meet and share hills and valleys, they will make the sound louder and clearer; but if two waves collide and their valleys and hills are opposites, there will be silence.

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