Acoustic or sound spectrum

in Educationlast year

Gif_espectro acústico.gif

Greetings again my dear friends of this prestigious platform, this time we will continue relating to the important phenomenon of sound and we have already analyzed the intrinsic phenomena of reflection, absorption, transmission, diffraction and refraction, this time we will link in a general way with the essential acoustic spectrum and this with the firm purpose of being able to relate to the different frequency ranges implemented for each sound.


When our auditory senses capture some sound they do it at different frequencies and this makes that sometimes we hear these sounds with different auditory sensations, that is to say, some more acute, others intermediate and others more serious, of course my readers all this within a referential range audible to our ears, since there are also sound waves that transmit sound vibrations called infrasound and ultrasound, and the latter our ears can not perceive them.

Our physical entity possesses a certain natural capacity to perceive certain phenomena that take place around us, for example, the vital phenomena of light and sound, both of which are related to the wave motion of the waves that transport them from one material medium to another, with the difference that light also has the capacity to propagate through the vacuum by means of electromagnetic waves.

In relation to the above, we can highlight the importance of the study or analysis of the different types of phenomena developed around us, since most of them we cannot perceive with our bodily capacities, but nevertheless, it has not prevented us from being able to analyze them and above all to learn from them and place them at our disposal either for the care of our body or for the performance of certain daily tasks.

Acoustic spectrum

This type of spectrum includes all forms of propagation or origin of sound, that is, those sound waves that carry the vibrations that our ears can perceive to those waves that we cannot perceive due to the frequency with which they propagate, this makes us refer to the fact that both sound and light have certain spectral fractions that some of our senses can perceive.

Going deeper into the acoustic spectrum we can say that it is divided into several fractions and this depending on the wavelength which propagates the sound, and this wavelength is closely linked to its frequency, therefore, it is important to express that the longer the wavelength the lower the frequency or vice versa, ie, the higher the frequency the lower the wavelength.

In relation to the above, we have been able to structure our acoustic spectrum as shown in Figure 1 below.

Figure. 1. Acoustic spectrum according to frequency


When visualizing the previous figure we observe our acoustic spectrum in its totality among which is our audible range for our ears and this audible spectrum is subdivided in other important sections that represent the low, medium and high sounds, and as these sounds have been expressed, determined according to their wavelength or frequency.

Let's remember my friends that we call frequency the number of waves that can pass through a given reference point in the time of one second and for this magnitude we implement the unit of hertz or Hertz (Hz).

When we perceive low frequencies, product of slow vibrations, then we are in the presence of a sound called low, and whose range as it was observed is between 20 to 500 Hz, but, when these frequencies are increasing because the vibrations that originate them also do, then, the sound changes range and we find it between the high-pitched sounds, whose range is between 2000 to 20000 Hz, and between both types of sounds we find the intermediate sound whose range is between 500 to 2000 Hz.

These types of sounds can be emitted by both natural and artificial sources and this leads us to highlight an important property of sound as it is the height, therefore, by increasing the frequency of a particular emitting source, then, the sound will be sharper or vice versa and this can be seen below in the following figure 2.

Figure 2. Determination of sound height


As we visualize our audible sound spectrum to our ears, we can notice how the first three frequencies correspond to a low frequency sound, and the fourth frequency to an intermediate sound, this also makes us highlight that as the wavelength decreases the frequency of the sound will increase and this action will make the sound more acute.


Countless are the types of sounds that reach our ears every second and when this happens it means that these sounds are within the audible range for our auditory systems, and also these sounds can be at different heights such as low, intermediate or high-pitched.

Therefore, through our ears we capture a form of manifestation of our surroundings and this is an essential complement to everything that we manage to observe, hence the vital importance of being able to get to know any type of phenomenon that develops in our environment and this can be natural or artificial.

Until another installment, my dear readers.

Note: All images are my own and were created using Power Point and the animated gif was created with the PhotoScape application.

Recommended Bibliographic References

[1]Physics of sound

[2]Specular and diffuse sound reflection. Author: @rbalzan79.

[3]Sound absorption. Author: @rbalzan79.

[4]Sound transmission. Author: @rbalzan79.

[5]Sound diffraction. Author: @rbalzan79.

[6]Sound refraction. Author: @rbalzan79.


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