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Thread: Sound on Mars?

  1. #1
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    With it's thin atmosphere made mostly of carbon dioxide what would the speed of sound be on Mars? Obviously you could never expose your ears to the Martian "air" but would there be some transmision of sound?

  2. #2
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    Of course there would be sound on Mars and yes you could hear another person speak. I don't know what the speed of sound would be, or even if it would be any different than the speed of sound in the upper atmosphere of earth? One point I would like to make is that sound travels in space as well. The only problem is that our ears are not sensitive enough to pick it up there. For example, sensitive instruments have recorded sound coming from black holes.

  3. #3
    Yes, but the sound coming from black holes isn't sound in the conventional sense. A lot of what we consider is sound is pressure in air, hence the Doppler Effect. Yet, you can look at sound on the atomic level and see that it's merely low frequency light. It's not only that our ears aren't sensative enough, but it's how our ears work.

    The speed of sound on Mars would be faster than it is on Earth because of the thinner atmosphere, but it is still limited to c.

  4. #4
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    Can we use "speed = distance/time" to calculate the speed of sound? e.g if the sound wavelength we record is 700 meter per 2 sec, then the speed is 350 m/s

  5. #5
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    Originally posted by lazserus@Feb 6 2004, 08:15 PM
    Yes, but the sound coming from black holes isn't sound in the conventional sense. A lot of what we consider is sound is pressure in air, hence the Doppler Effect. Yet, you can look at sound on the atomic level and see that it's merely low frequency light. It's not only that our ears aren't sensative enough, but it's how our ears work.

    This is the article I read about the sound coming from black holes ...

    http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/blac...ote_030909.html

    The article seems to differentiate between light and sound ...


    James

  6. #6
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    Sound travels faster through a solid than through air. Sound depends on particles to carry the waves. The closer the particles, the faster the waves move. If the air is much thinner on Mars, then sound should travel slower there than it does here on Earth. The speed of sound on Earth is only about 1100 m/s at sea level. In water, it travels around 1500m/s and it travels at 5000m/s in steel. Temperature and the type of medium makes all the difference. We've broken the sound barrier here on Earth (sonic booms). Sound doesn't travel nearly as fast as light which is quite speedy at 300,000 km/s.

  7. #7
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    Check out the calculations I just did to find the speed of sound:

    http://teeks99x.teeks99.com/Speed%20Of%20S...20On%20Mars.pdf

    hope that helps.
    (The answer is 230m/s)

    Tom

  8. #8
    Barry Guest
    Was just asking myself this question (Sound on Mars?) when I googled this forum.

    Here's another interesting article:

    http://www.cnn.com/TECH/space/9911/01/mars.microphone/

  9. #9
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    It would be slower.

    And no we cannot hear sound in space; sound cannot travel through a vacuum.

  10. #10
    Fishead Guest
    No, Matthew, we have NOT found a complete vasccum. It gets pretty close, measured in atoms per square meter, but it isn't a vaccum. It would transmit sound extremely slowly as the wave function would not have sufficent means to propogate effectively, but there is sound in space.

  11. #11
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    but there is sound in space
    wha....? :blink: But aren't the particles too far apart?

    I can agree that there is sound on Mars, as matthew stated, it would be slower...so we would sound like we got deeper voices, so those of us with an already deep voice could become subsonic ?

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