Electric energy and Sound energy    

To understand electric charge and electric energy, one must first understand what atoms are made of. Atoms are the basic building blocks that make up all the matter in the Universe. All the living and nonliving things that have mass and take up space are composed of atoms in their most basic level. But atoms are not exactly irreducible. Atoms are made up of three main components – Protons, Electrons and Neutrons. Of these three subatomic particles, Neutrons are neutral and have no charge. Protons are positively charged and Electrons are negatively charged. But what do we mean by ‘positive’ and ‘negative’ here? These symbolic associations are actually arbitrary. The historical reason behind this categorisation is simple. When scientists discovered protons and electrons, it was revealed that these two subatomic particles are attracted to each other and carry charges that are opposite to one another. Based on this line of reasoning, the American inventor Benjamin Franklin started the convention of calling protons and electrons as positive (+) and negative (-) respectively. Following through with that logic, matter that has more protons than electrons is labelled as ‘positively charged’ and matter with more electrons than protons is labelled as ‘negatively charged’. 

Life without electricity is unimaginable in our modern lives.Though it is one of humankind’s most important discoveries and a champion of technological progress, electricity is a natural force. Our achievement lies in how we conduct and employ electricity. So when we say ‘electricity’, we usually imply electric current. The inherent property of the particles that allows them to interact with each other is what we call ‘charge’. Electric current is nothing but the flow of electric charge. The unit for the measurement of electric charge is called the Coulomb. One of the main principles to keep in mind when studying electricity is the Conservation of charge. Since the Universe is a closed system, it remains electrically neutral overall. The net amount of charge always remains the same and nature retains its state of balance. 

Now that we have established the science behind electric energy, let’s look at sound energy and its characteristics. All sound is caused by mechanical vibrations that are propagated through a medium and perceived by our auditory sense. The pattern of disturbances or vibrations takes the form of longitudinal waves, and hence we call them sound waves. When you hear the sound of a bell ringing, the vibrations reach your ear through a continuous progression of sound waves  from the source through the medium of air. When the sound waves are picked up by our ears, the sound energy is converted into corresponding nerve/electrical impulses before finally reaching the brain. When we hear ‘sound’, we are in fact referring to the psychological phenomenon in addition to the physiological phenomenon. The intensity of sound is measured in Decibels. Amplitude and Frequency are two other important ways of measuring sound. 

As sound waves travel through air, their energy gradually diminishes over distance and they finally fade away. When you play a song on your speaker, all the sound waves are eventually spread out, reflected and absorbed. 


Comments are closed.