Skip to ContentGo to accessibility pageKeyboard shortcuts menu
OpenStax Logo
College Physics for AP® Courses


College Physics for AP® CoursesGlossary

acoustic impedance
property of medium that makes the propagation of sound waves more difficult
point of maximum displacement
bow wake
V-shaped disturbance created when the wave source moves faster than the wave propagation speed
Doppler effect
an alteration in the observed frequency of a sound due to motion of either the source or the observer
Doppler shift
the actual change in frequency due to relative motion of source and observer
Doppler-shifted ultrasound
a medical technique to detect motion and determine velocity through the Doppler shift of an echo
the lowest-frequency resonance
the term used to refer collectively to the fundamental and its overtones
the perception of sound
sounds below 20 Hz
the power per unit area carried by a wave
intensity reflection coefficient
a measure of the ratio of the intensity of the wave reflected off a boundary between two media relative to the intensity of the incident wave
the perception of sound intensity
point of zero displacement
basic unit of music with specific names, combined to generate tunes
all resonant frequencies higher than the fundamental
the numerical unit of loudness
the perception of the frequency of a sound
sonic boom
a constructive interference of sound created by an object moving faster than sound
a disturbance of matter that is transmitted from its source outward
sound intensity level
a unitless quantity telling you the level of the sound relative to a fixed standard
sound pressure level
the ratio of the pressure amplitude to a reference pressure
number and relative intensity of multiple sound frequencies
number and relative intensity of multiple sound frequencies
sounds above 20,000 Hz
Order a print copy

As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.


This book may not be used in the training of large language models or otherwise be ingested into large language models or generative AI offerings without OpenStax's permission.

Want to cite, share, or modify this book? This book uses the Creative Commons Attribution License and you must attribute OpenStax.

Attribution information
  • If you are redistributing all or part of this book in a print format, then you must include on every physical page the following attribution:
    Access for free at
  • If you are redistributing all or part of this book in a digital format, then you must include on every digital page view the following attribution:
    Access for free at
Citation information

© Mar 3, 2022 OpenStax. Textbook content produced by OpenStax is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License . The OpenStax name, OpenStax logo, OpenStax book covers, OpenStax CNX name, and OpenStax CNX logo are not subject to the Creative Commons license and may not be reproduced without the prior and express written consent of Rice University.