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Thread: Does light amplify sound waves?

  1. #1 Does light amplify sound waves? 
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    For an example, a sound source such as a radio or television emitting sound at loud volume with a light source such as a bright lamp able to brighten a large room substantially/noticeably, or sunlight preferably the same amount of space brightened as the lamp. Lets say the sound source is in the center of the room. If the light does affect the sound (enhanced, not decreased), is the sound difference enough for the average human ear to notice. Compared from light to somewhat darkness. Sorry for the vague variables.


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    Genius Duck Moderator Dywyddyr's Avatar
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    Light is electromagnetic.
    Sound is compression/ rarefaction of the atmosphere.

    Unless the light is "bright" enough (sufficient energy) 1 to significantly heat the surrounding air there won't be any noticeable effect at all.

    1 And that would probably mean it's not in the visible wavelengths.

    Edit: Hmm, there could be a psychological effect that alters the perception of the sound. But I'm guessing here.


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    Forum Freshman WaterWalker's Avatar
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    As Dywyddyr has said, sound and light are not the same. Sound needs a medium to propagate, while light doesn't. So, no interference pattern can exist. Dywyddyr, that's an interesting thought. Does a warmer room have an impact on sound? Amplitude, frequency, distance it can travel, ect? If so, it would be a fascinating classroom experiment.
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