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General and Special Relativity
Speed of Sound
Waves Vibrations and Oscillations

Why does a sound wave travel the slowest in a vacuum?


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Answered 2010-12-11 21:31:25

Sound waves don't just travel the slowest in a vacuum, they don't travel at all. The reason is that sound waves, like all mechanical waves, need a medium to travel through.

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In order for a sound wave to travel, it must compress and expand the molecules in the medium it travels through (such as air or water). In a vacuum, there is no medium to be compressed and expanded, so the sound wave cannot travel.


Sound waves cannot travel through a vacuum.


Sound is waves through matter. In a vacuum, there is no matter. No matter, no sound.


Space or a vacuum as there are no atoms...


Sound waves cannot propagate in vacuum. Air is needed for sound waves to travel and there is no air in vacuum.


From the Sound Wiki - Sound is a travelling wave which is an oscillation of pressure...A true vacuum is the total absence of matter in a given space.Therefore, in a true vacuum, there is no matter in which to produce the pressure differences which lead to the production of a sound wave nor is there a medium for any would-be wave travel.


Sound is a mechanical wave and must travel through a medium, such as air, water, and solids. Sound waves cannot travel through a vacuum.


Since sound is a mechanical wave (it needs a substance to travel through) it cannot travel through a vacuum.


As sound is a mechanical wave (unlike light, an electromagnetic wave), it requires a medium in which to travel, therefore, it cannot travel through a vacuum.


Sound can travel through any medium. If you remove the medium you would end up with a vacuum. It is in vacuums that sound cannot travel as it needs a medium to travel (it travels as a compression wave or shear wave). Space is almost a perfect vacuum so sound is unable to travel through space.


a sound wave is the movement of the molecules of the material, so no molecules no sound wave.


Any wave that depends on a physical medium, such as a water wave or a sound wave.


Sound is not an electromagnetic wave, which can pass through a vacuum, but a vibration wave which requires matter to vibrate. A vacuum has no matter to vibrate, therefor sound cannot pass through it.



Sound (and vibration) waves may only travel in some medium. Such as air, metal and so on. They cannot travel in a vacuum.



It needs a material medium for propagation


Sound waves propagate through dense mediums. As such, a sound wave is incapable of propagating through a vacuum as no medium exists with sufficient density in a vacuum.


Sound can travel through any medium. If you remove the medium you would end up with a vacuum. It is in vacuums that sound cannot travel as it needs a medium to travel (it travels as a compression wave or shear wave).Space is almost a perfect vacuum so sound is unable to travel through space.Source:What_is_it_that_cannot_sound_travel_through


Since an earthquake or seismic wave is a pressure or force wave (like sound waves), it requires a material in which to propagate. So, no earthquake waves can travel through a vacuum.


No, they cannot. Sound waves are compression waves (mechanical longitudinal waves). This means they travel through mediums with the particles of the medium vibrating in the same or opposite direction of the wave, as opposed to perpendicular. Therefore, a sound wave needs particles to vibrate/oscillate for it to travel. If there are no particles, it cannot travel. A vacuum is defined by the absence of matter, meaning there are no particles. Thus, sound cannot travel in a vacuum.


Yes sound waves are made from vibrating atoms or particles and so any medium which contains particles can allow a sound wave to travel through it. The only thing a sound wave cannot travel through is a vacuum.


The vacuum does not produce sound waves nor, can sound waves travel through them. A sound wave needs something to travel on/through, such as air. A vacuum doesn't contain any particles required for sound waves.


Cannot be heard as sound being a mechanical wave badly needs a material medium


sound waves are vibrations that travel though air. Light is a spectrum of colours this means that light can go through a vacuum but sound cant Wazzupp Niggaaaa!!!!!



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