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Propagation of Sound

Speed of Sound in Different Media

Sound propagates through a medium at a finite speed. The sound of a thunder is heard a little later than the flash of light is seen.

So, we can make out that sound travels with a speed which is much less than the speed of light. The speed of sound depends on the properties of the medium through which it travels. You will learn about this dependence in higher classes. The speed of sound in a medium depends also on temperature and pressure of the medium. The speed of sound decreases when we go from solid to gaseous state. In any medium as we increase the temperature the speed of sound increases. For example, the speed of sound in air is 331 m s-1 at 0 °C and 344 m s-1 at 22 °C. The speeds of sound at a particular temperature in various media are listed in Table 1. You need not memorise the values.

Figure- (Speed of Sound in Different Media)

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