Conceptual Physics (12th Edition)

Published by Addison-Wesley
ISBN 10: 0321909100
ISBN 13: 978-0-32190-910-7

Chapter 21 - Think and Solve - Page 401: 28


10,000 times more intense.

Work Step by Step

The decibel scale is logarithmic, based upon powers of 10. Adding 10 dB means the intensity is multiplied by a factor of 10. In other words, when the intensity of sound is increased by a factor of 10, the intensity level increases by 10 dB. A sound of 40 dB has an intensity 10,000 times greater than 0 dB, the threshold of hearing. A sound of 40 dB corresponds to an intensity of $10^{-8} \frac{W}{m^{2}}$, which is $10^{4} = 10,000$ times greater than the intensity of a 0 dB sound, $10^{-12} \frac{W}{m^{2}}$. This is discussed on page 394, and shown in Table 21.1.
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