A sound is a form of energy that trans-locates through matter. The importance of sound is quite enormous as it helps in
- Signaling system
- Echo system
- Analyze the distance or depths in the oceans
- Breakdown of small particles
- Removal of gases from liquids
- For sterilization (kill bacteria)
- For tissue growth
This sound propagates in the form of waves through the air. These waves have a specific frequency and wavelengths
The quality and intensity of sound vary due to these two parameters.
Importance of sound and its applications
1. For communication
Sound is the only main form of communication for humans and animals. We, humans, communicate verbally with spoken languages besides body languages. While the animals make sounds to communicate with each other.
Without the sound, the voice would have been challenging to be emitted out.
The sound information is taken up by the ears and processed by the hearing mechanism. Based on the sounds, we can even identify the mood of the person. We express sound as auditory words, expressive tone, crying, shouting, etc.
2. As music
Music is a sound in a controlled and fine-tuned manner. Music relies a lot on the frequency and pitch of the voice.
For instruments, the factors like the frequency, intensity and also the resonance of the sound matter. Hence you can notice for instruments like violin, guitar there is a big hollow at the end. This hallow creates a resonance of sound, making the music further distinct from the instrument.
This is music is now day recorded for future use by sound reproduction systems.
3. Signaling system
Sound is the signaling system used for trains, automobiles, river flows (Dam water release), industry sirens.
Sound as a signaling system is used as horns, sirens, calling bells, beeps, etc. The sound signal system is one of the least expensive ones. Further, it is less harmful to the environment around. But excess and frequent use can cause sound pollution.
Further alarm system uses sound. Hence a mobile ringing, alarms, message alerts use sound as an alerting means.
3. Echo system
Echo is a reflection of sound arriving back to the point of emission. We can notice echoes when we notice in an empty building or well or even boot sounds of army march. Echo is a type of sound resonance. It is very much useful in music.
5. For finding the depth/ distant objects
This you might have come across in physics. Sound waves are one of the few means available to measure the depth of the seas and also the deep holes in the earth. Other objects at a long distance can be found by SONAR waves, i.e., SOUND NAVIGATION AND RANGING. The sound is allowed to travel through the sea or ocean bottom and return. This time taken by a particular frequency of sound to reach the sea bed and return to the source (receiver of sound) is used to calculate the sea’s depth.
Similarly, a moving object can send sound waves in the direction of its motion and know if any objects are moving at long distances.
6. For degassing of liquids
Liquids like water and solvents used in the analysis have air and other gases entrapped inside them. This air has to be removed for proper flow through minute pores in the matter. This is particularly required for chromatography experiments. The procedure to remove gas from the solvent is called the degassing of solvents. This is essential for the proper analysis of compounds using HPLC (high-performance liquid chromatography), or else it can slow down the pressure in the column and hinder analysis.
7. For de-granulation of solid particles
Large solid particles in a suspension or tissue fraction can be broken down by grinding. But tiny particles like less than 1mm cannot be broken down further using grinders. Then they can be broken down by the use of ultrasonic sound waves. These waves are thought to create vigorous crests and troughs in the liquid media. These vibrations bring about the splitting of particles into smaller ones.
8. Telephone communication
The telephone is one of the best discoveries ever made by man.
The telephone machine receives sound waves from the person at the mouthpiece. The sound waves cause vibration in magnetic carbon particles in it. Thus the electric signal is generated based on the pitch and frequency of voice and is communicated. Here the sound from the voice exerts pressure on the diaphragm in the mouthpiece.
9. In sterilization
Ultrasound is also tried in sterilization. This is done to inhibit the growth of microbes and even kill them.
Sonication disrupts the cell wall of bacteria and kills them. But they are not highly lethal but are used in combination with disinfectants for a synergistic effect.
10. To enhance cell growth
Sonication is also found to be effective in tissue culture. Some findings suggest that the use of sonication selectively enhances the growth of cells & tissues. Also, it is found to facilitate gene transfer during cell culture & in biotechnology.
- What is sonar
- Use of ultrasound waves in tissue culture
- How telephone works