Physics: Principles with Applications (7th Edition)

Published by Pearson
ISBN 10: 0-32162-592-7
ISBN 13: 978-0-32162-592-2

Chapter 11 - Oscillations and Waves - Questions: 17


The elastic force factor of a solid is significantly greater than that of air.

Work Step by Step

Comparing equations 11-13, 11-14a, and 11-14b, we see that the speed of a longitudinal wave is given by, roughly: $$v=\sqrt{\frac{elastic force factor}{inertia factor}}$$ This is also stated on page 308. Though the density of solids is typically thousands of times greater than that of air, the elastic force factor for a solid (i.e., its bulk modulus) is about a million times greater than it is for air. Thus, the speed of sound in most solids is greater than in air.
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