How fast does sound travel?

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A sound is a wave of energy. It’s caused when something vibrates. It could be vibrations caused by our vocal chords when we talk, it could be vibrations caused when a hammer hits a nail, or it could be vibrations from a bumblebee’s wings flapping. Those vibrations travel quickly through the air to our ears!

In dry air at 32°F or 0°C, sound travels 1,086 feet or 331 meters every second! That’s longer than a football field and it only takes a second!

Sound doesn’t only travel through air though. It can travel through different gases, liquids and solids, and it travels at different speeds. In water, at 86°F or 30°C, sound is much faster. It travels at 4,950 feet or 1509 meters a second! That’s much faster than a person could run and faster than most planes can fly!  

by   (whyzz writer)
  • Exploration

    Sound vs. Light

    Light and sound travel at different speeds. Do you know which one is faster? The next time there is a thunderstorm, you’ll be able to explore which is the fastest (when you’re safely inside, of course!)

    Lightning and thunder happen at the same time, but we usually experience one before the other. That’s because light and sound travel at different speeds! Which do you hear or see first? Which is faster? Sound or light?

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