Sound is everywhere around us. And there have been possibilities of harnessing sound energy. But unfortunately, no major breakthroughs. This article looks at the characteristics of sound and sound energy along with the advantages and disadvantages of the same.
WHAT IS IT?
Scientifically, sound is defined as the mechanical radiant energy that is transmitted by longitudinal pressure waves in a material medium (such as air) and is the objective cause of hearing. It is essentially a vibration causing an acoustic wave. In simple words, one can say that it is something that one perceives with their sense of hearing. Unlike light, sound cannot travel in a vacuum and always travels through a medium such as water, air, glass, etc.
Sound energy is a form of energy that moves through any object or substance in waves. So basically when a sound moves through ab object, there is a force that causes the vibration which is transferred through the substance in waves. These are sound waves. These are different from sea or ocean waves because sea waves move as up and down vibrations and are transverse waves. However, sound waves are longitudinal waves that create patterns of compressions and rarefactions. As a result, they push and pull the air back and forth instead of up and down.
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ADVANTAGES OF SOUND ENERGY
Since sound is omnipresent, the actual source for sound energy is amply available. So the good thing is that the cost of raw materials is eliminated. The operation, as well as the maintenance for this type of energy, is much lower in comparison to other forms of energy. Hence, if proper research went into harnessing sound waves, it could potentially be a good source of energy. For instance, in 2019, a group of students from Manila, Philippines made an inexpensive gadget that converted noise to electricity that could power bulbs. And it cost only $4 for the gadget.
Important Uses in Different Sectors
There are uses for sound energy in several different industries. These include science, medicine, infrastructure, shipping industry, etc. In the medical field, for instance, there is extensive use of ultrasound machines for detecting diseases like cancer, tumors, gall stones, heart problems, or any other disease. Additionally, pregnant women most commonly used it to detect any early abnormalities in a fetus. In the science field, scientists have used various technologies like an ultrasonic transducer to convert electrical energy into sound waves. Energy harnessed with the help of sound is also used in marine and underwater research. Similarly, we even use it in our day to day lives. Phones, televisions, speakers, microphones, hearing aids – all of these are examples that use this type of energy.
Another unconventional use of this energy is sound therapy. Sound therapy or music therapy is a type of therapy that uses music, sound, and sound instruments with the purpose of improving an individual’s health and well-being. Studies have shown that the human body reacts in different ways to certain sounds and vibrations. And sound therapy explores that possibility to bring positive and holistic changes to an individual’s life. There are several benefits associated with sound therapy. These include relieving stress, helps with focus, confidence, and may help deal with certain ailments like headaches, hypertension, and anxiety.
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DISADVANTAGES OF SOUND ENERGY
Sound waves, unlike any other raw material, cannot be seen through the naked eye. Because of this, one cannot see the pressure waves that are produced due to this. The rapid growth of industries over the years has contributed to unprecedented increase in noise pollution over the years. For instance, traffic noise is a major source of noise pollution in cities. And this is extremely damaging to one’s hearing which could even result in permanent hearing loss and deafness.
Low Level of Energy
In comparison to other types of energy like light, wind, hydro-electric energy, sound energy yields a relatively low amount of energy. As a result, it is not only difficult to convert it into usable energy but also takes more materials and technology.
Not Enough Data
Another major issue is that we just do not have enough data about this type of energy. This is a problem because, in order to gauge how feasible a technology or mechanism is, it requires proper and prolonged research. Innovation and new discoveries harnessing sound energy could definitely accelerate our progress.
To sum up, as we inch towards a climate crisis, it is important to explore ways to harness energy in the most sustainable way possible. Sound energy could be a good alternative with the right research and thorough study.
Pros and Cons of Sound Energy
|Important Uses in Different Sectors||
Low Level of Energy
Not Enough Data