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Thread: Is there a terminal amplitude for sound in air?

  1. #1 Is there a terminal amplitude for sound in air? 
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    terminal amplitude as in, the maximum loudness sound can go, and cant be higher than it in air.


    like terminal velocity...


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    Yes. Sound waves can only vary by 1 atmospheric pressure which is around 194 dB I believe.

    Basically, sound wave travels up and down a zero point, and the lowest value it can achieve is 0 psi. Therefore, the highest point will be around 2 atmospheric pressure.


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    Quote Originally Posted by beamthegreat View Post
    Yes. Sound waves can only vary by 1 atmospheric pressure which is around 194 dB I believe.

    Basically, sound wave travels up and down a zero point, and the lowest value it can achieve is 0 psi. Therefore, the highest point will be around 2 atmospheric pressure.
    Earthquakes/volcanoes can be over 200dB.
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    Ascended Member Ascended's Avatar
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    Actually I think you are both right, I mean I think the loudest 'sustainable' sound to be about 194 db dictated by atmospheric pressure, but potentially single pressure waves, such as that from a volcanic eruption can be well over this, I think one was recorded at near 310 db, but this is the instantaneous pressure wave.
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    Forum Bachelors Degree Kerling's Avatar
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    That is a good question and got me thinking. The pressure difference must be quite high, this is load. But I can imagine that instead of remaining loud, it would have a wave front and a leaking in its past wake. I do not know what the equations would be. And theoretically the bang could be infinite but the drop over space could be much faster for loud bangs.
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    Brassica oleracea Strange's Avatar
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    There is probably some relevant information here: Intensity - The Physics Hypertextbook
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  8. #7  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ascended View Post
    Actually I think you are both right, I mean I think the loudest 'sustainable' sound to be about 194 db dictated by atmospheric pressure, but potentially single pressure waves, such as that from a volcanic eruption can be well over this, I think one was recorded at near 310 db, but this is the instantaneous pressure wave.
    cant there be sustainable spams of instantaneous pressures that cause some freaking loud sound above 400 db?
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  9. #8  
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    Quote Originally Posted by ryanawe123 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Ascended View Post
    Actually I think you are both right, I mean I think the loudest 'sustainable' sound to be about 194 db dictated by atmospheric pressure, but potentially single pressure waves, such as that from a volcanic eruption can be well over this, I think one was recorded at near 310 db, but this is the instantaneous pressure wave.
    cant there be sustainable spams of instantaneous pressures that cause some freaking loud sound above 400 db?
    This is me guessing but I think that it isn't possible cause after the moment you generated the first "sound" the area near the source of that sound will be a vacuum and there won't be any air left for you to generate any more sound.
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  10. #9  
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    Quote Originally Posted by beamthegreat View Post
    This is me guessing but I think that it isn't possible cause after the moment you generated the first "sound" the area near the source of that sound will be a vacuum and there won't be any air left for you to generate any more sound.
    that would only mean the wavelength will be very long... (to consist of that huge vaccumed rarefaction)

    but isnt it possible?
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