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written by Tom Henderson
This interactive tutorial explores factors affecting sound intensity. It explains the mathematical relationship between intensity and distance with example calculations. It also goes beyond the basics to describe the "decibel scale" (the logarithmic scale for measuring intensity) and explores subjective factors that affect sound perception in human hearing. Don't miss the Decibel Calculator widget.
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Oscillations & Waves
- Acoustics
= Intensity and Attenuation
= The Ear
- Wave Motion
= Longitudinal Pulses and Waves
- High School
- Lower Undergraduate
- Instructional Material
= Tutorial
Appropriate Courses Categories Ratings
- Physics First
- Conceptual Physics
- Algebra-based Physics
- AP Physics
- Activity
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Intended User:
Learner
Formats:
text/html
image/gif
Access Rights:
Free access
Restriction:
© 2001 Tom Henderson
No derivatives, commercial use prohibited.
Keywords:
amplitude, decibel rating, hearing
Record Cloner:
Metadata instance created March 11, 2011 by Tom Henderson
Record Updated:
January 30, 2018 by Caroline Hall
Last Update
when Cataloged:
January 15, 2018

Next Generation Science Standards

Disciplinary Core Ideas (K-12)

Wave Properties (PS4.A)
  • [From the 3–5 grade band endpoints] Waves can add or cancel one another as they cross, depending on their relative phase (i.e., relative position of peaks and troughs of the waves), but they emerge unaffected by each other. (Boundary: The discussion at this grade level is qualitative only; it can be based on the fact that two different sounds can pass a location in different directions without getting mixed up.) (9-12)

Crosscutting Concepts (K-12)

Energy and Matter (2-12)
  • Energy drives the cycling of matter within and between systems. (9-12)

NGSS Science and Engineering Practices (K-12)

Analyzing and Interpreting Data (K-12)
  • Analyzing data in 9–12 builds on K–8 and progresses to introducing more detailed statistical analysis, the comparison of data sets for consistency, and the use of models to generate and analyze data. (9-12)
    • Analyze data using tools, technologies, and/or models (e.g., computational, mathematical) in order to make valid and reliable scientific claims or determine an optimal design solution. (9-12)
ComPADRE is beta testing Citation Styles!

Record Link
AIP Format
T. Henderson, (2001), WWW Document, (http://www.physicsclassroom.com/class/sound/Lesson-2/Intensity-and-the-Decibel-Scale).
AJP/PRST-PER
T. Henderson, Physics Classroom: Intensity and the Decibel Scale, (2001), <http://www.physicsclassroom.com/class/sound/Lesson-2/Intensity-and-the-Decibel-Scale>.
APA Format
Henderson, T. (2018, January 15). Physics Classroom: Intensity and the Decibel Scale. Retrieved February 18, 2018, from http://www.physicsclassroom.com/class/sound/Lesson-2/Intensity-and-the-Decibel-Scale
Chicago Format
Henderson, Tom. Physics Classroom: Intensity and the Decibel Scale. January 15, 2018. http://www.physicsclassroom.com/class/sound/Lesson-2/Intensity-and-the-Decibel-Scale (accessed 18 February 2018).
MLA Format
Henderson, Tom. Physics Classroom: Intensity and the Decibel Scale. 2001. 15 Jan. 2018. 18 Feb. 2018 <http://www.physicsclassroom.com/class/sound/Lesson-2/Intensity-and-the-Decibel-Scale>.
BibTeX Export Format
@misc{ Author = "Tom Henderson", Title = {Physics Classroom: Intensity and the Decibel Scale}, Volume = {2018}, Number = {18 February 2018}, Month = {January 15, 2018}, Year = {2001} }
Refer Export Format

%A Tom Henderson
%T Physics Classroom: Intensity and the Decibel Scale
%D January 15, 2018
%U http://www.physicsclassroom.com/class/sound/Lesson-2/Intensity-and-the-Decibel-Scale
%O text/html

EndNote Export Format

%0 Electronic Source
%A Henderson, Tom
%D January 15, 2018
%T Physics Classroom: Intensity and the Decibel Scale
%V 2018
%N 18 February 2018
%8 January 15, 2018
%9 text/html
%U http://www.physicsclassroom.com/class/sound/Lesson-2/Intensity-and-the-Decibel-Scale


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Citation Source Information

The AIP Style presented is based on information from the AIP Style Manual.

The APA Style presented is based on information from APA Style.org: Electronic References.

The Chicago Style presented is based on information from Examples of Chicago-Style Documentation.

The MLA Style presented is based on information from the MLA FAQ.

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