Why Can’t Sound Travel Through Vacuum

Reasons to know Why Can’t Sound Travel Through Vacuum

A vacuum is a space that is devoid of matter. However, various types of vacuums can be created depending on the number of air or gas molecules removed to create a vacuum. The matter of fact is that how is vacuum capable of doing many things and provides uncountable benefits when it’s devoid of matter? This depends on the nature of the vacuum and the type of the vacuum, whether it be a complete vacuum or partial vacuum.

Vacuums are not a part of just one but many industries, including huge nutraceutical, pharmaceutical, and many others. Although vacuum has uncountable applications, it restricts the travel of sound. In space, astronauts cannot communicate with each other as the sound is unable to travel through space.

Here we will answer one question that why can sound travel through a vacuum.

Answer to Why Can’t Sound Travel Through Vacuum

A logical question will arise in any individual’s mind: what is the fact or theory behind sound traveling through a vacuum, and why it is unable to do so. Vacuum is devoid of matter and is a space, whereas sound requires a medium or matter to travel, whether air, water, or any solid medium.

Likewise, astronauts cannot hear each other in space because there is no medium for the sound waves to travel.

Why Do Sound Waves Require Medium to Travel

The propagation of sound waves is dependent on vibrations. The reason that sound waves require a medium to travel is that the propagating path for vibrations is a matter which is also known as medium. Even if a sound wave is created inside a vacuum, it will be inaudible to a distant person as it is devoid of the path to follow or the accepting medium.

Nature of Sound

All the waves do not possess the characteristic to require a medium for their travel. However, some waves only require a medium to travel. Let’s explore the nature of sound waves and why do they need a medium to travel.

Sound waves are longitudinal and mechanical waves that can travel through any medium but cannot travel through space which we call vacuum. Sound waves can travel as longitudinal as well as transverse waves in solid mediums. However, in a liquid medium, they only travel as longitudinal waves, also called compression waves.

Sound waves also possess characteristic variations in pressure which are known as compressions and rare fractions.

Types of Sound Waves

These longitudinal waves exist in different ranges of frequencies, of which some are audible to humans while others are not.

  • Infrasonic Waves

Infrasonic waves are those waves that are below the range of 20Hz. Their low range makes them inaudible to the human ear; however, infrasonic waves are produced during volcanic eruptions, earthquakes. They are a medium of communication between dogs, rhinos, giraffes, and many other animals too.

  • Ultrasonic Waves

Ultrasonic waves are above the range of 20,000Hz. They are also inaudible to the human ear but are used in many medical procedures such as ultrasound.

Only the sound frequency between 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz is audible to the human ear.

How Are Sound Waves Created

Sound waves are also called acoustic waves. They are generated through a sound source. The sound source helps in creating sound waves through multiple vibrations with the help of a diaphragm. The diaphragm continues to create waves in the medium, which causes the waves to travel through the medium in the form of vibrating waves.

During the propagation of sound waves in the medium, the waves can be reflected, refracted, or can experience a change in property due to the influence of the medium.

How To Create Vacuum

The applications of vacuum are widespread from industrial to ordinary household cleaning. But the wondrous fact is that how a vacuum is created. To create a vacuum, you do not have to consider it on a large scale. Rather a vacuum can also be created on a minor scale, but it only has to follow the principle.

To create a vacuum, a vacuum pump is required, which will aid in the removal of gas molecules. Under normal circumstances, the gas or air molecules are very close to each other hence, the mean path difference between them is much less. When a vacuum pump is employed to remove gas molecules, the mean path difference between these gas molecules increases and the equilibrium between atmospheric pressure and internal pressure is disturbed, which leads to the formation of a vacuum.

Applications Of Vacuum

There are many widespread applications of vacuum. However, it is devoid of matter but is used to carry out various important processes in the industrial and medical fields.

  • Industrial Applications

Vacuums are employed to manufacture vacuum tubes, electrical lamps, semiconductors processing. They are also used in electron microscopy. Most of the microscopes, including electron microscopes and light microscopes, have a hollow vacuum tube inside them, enabling the object’s magnification.

In addition to this, vacuums are also used in glass and stone cutting factories and also photolithography.

  • Medical Applications

Apart from these industrial applications, there are various medical applications of vacuum too. The creation of vacuum helps in the field of radiopharmacy, radiotherapy as well as radiosurgery. In addition to this, vacuums are also used in the analysis of substances such as biosolids. They are also used in mass spectrometers and spectrophotometers.

Final Verdict

Conclusively, sound waves cannot travel through a vacuum because they require a space consisting of matter to travel, whether solid, liquid, or gas. In addition to this, various types and nature of sound waves account for diversity in nature, including differences in sound ranges that are audible to humans and audible to animals.

Vacuum is a space devoid of matter but has numerous applications in daily lives. It is in industrial, manufacturing, and medicinal fields, making it one of the best technology amongst many other technological inventions. From cleaning our houses to dry, freezing, and magnifying objects, vacuum technology has helped the world progress.

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