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Material density and sound transmission Featured science projectScience project video


This experiment was performed to find out how the density of a particular type of material will affect the amount of sound transmitted through the material. The experiment was done to compare the sound transmission between plywood, bakelite, glass and marble


Higher density materials will transmit less sound.

Scientific Terms

Solid, liquid, gas, kinetic energy, molecule, density, elasticity


Sound transmission

Sound is transmitted faster through solids than through liquids and gas. This is because sound is actually kinetic energy that is being transmitted from one molecule to another. This transfer of kinetic energy is easier if the molecules are closer to one another like in solids or liquids  than in  gasses. The transmission of sound also depends on the elasticity and density of the medium.

Elasticity of materials  is measured when the medium can still maintain its original form and shape when a force is applied to it and then removed. A high elastic medium like steel will be able to transmit sound faster  than a low elastic medium like rubber.

Another factor affecting the transmission of sound is density. High density materials will normally have bigger and heavier molecules. Since bigger molecules have a heavier mass, they will require more kinetic energy to vibrate and transmit the sound. This will make the sound transmission slower and will also dampen the sound.

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Time required:
2 days to prepare, 1 hour for observation
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