Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

Acoustics

Acoustics is the science of sound as it reacts to air, water and solid materials. Learn about topics from radar to white noise, plus find out why you can hear the ocean in a seashell.


Can you really shatter a glass with a high note?

There are so many things in this world that are possible, and shattering glass with sonic force is one of them – but just how probable is it, really? See more »

Can a sound wave kill you?

A sound wave alone probably won't kill you. Crank the volume on a terrible song, though, and you just might annoy everyone to death. See more »

The Skinny on Sonic Booms

A sonic boom occurs when a vessel breaks the speed of sound. So what is this infamous sonic boom, if not the shattering of the picture-window-in-the-sky? See more »

Did you ever wonder how to measure how fast sound travels in the air? Read this article to learn how to measure sound travel in the air. See more »

How Tuning Forks Work

Pianos lose their tuning, guitars fall out of key -- even church organs need to be tuned every now and then. For centuries, the only sure-fire way to tell if an instrument was in tune was to use a tuning fork. See more »

Overtone, a sound accompanying the main tone produced by a vibrating body. The number and loudness of overtones determine the timbre, or tone color, of a musical sound. See more »

Resonance, An object free to vibrate tends to do so at a specific rate called the object's natural, or resonant, frequency. See more »

Sound. When a drum is struck, the drumhead vibrates and the vibrations are transmitted through the air in the form of waves. See more »

Tuning Fork, a small U-shaped piece of steel that, when struck, produces a clear tone of unvarying pitch. See more »

Acoustics, the branch of physics that deals with the production, transmission, properties, and effects of sound waves. See more »