The Naked Scientists

The Naked Scientists Forum

Author Topic: Does fog have a dampening effect on sounds?  (Read 9121 times)

Charles

  • Guest
Does fog have a dampening effect on sounds?
« on: 14/06/2009 10:30:03 »
Charles asked the Naked Scientists:
   
Hi, I'd like to know whether the moisture in the fog can have a dampening effect for sounds?

It always feels quieter on a foggy night than a clear night, and I wonder if it's due to ambient sounds being dampened.

Love your show - great science, British accent, and bad puns - what more could one ask for?

Best, Charles

What do you think?


 

Offline Soul Surfer

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 3345
  • keep banging the rocks together
    • View Profile
    • ian kimber's web workspace
Does fog have a dampening effect on sounds?
« Reply #1 on: 14/06/2009 23:02:33 »
Yes it does the dampenig effect is particularly effective for higher frequencies and ultrasound. The mass of the particles absorbs and scatters the sound energy. Many years ago tried to patent a fog detector using a cheap pair of ultrasonic transducers and some very basic signal processing.  The idea was to design a device that would automatically turn on motorway fog warning lights in poor visibility but it did not work very well and no one was really interested in paying for it.
 

Offline thedoc

  • Forum Admin
  • Administrator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 511
  • Thanked: 12 times
    • View Profile
 

Offline chris

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 5339
  • Thanked: 65 times
  • The Naked Scientist
    • View Profile
    • The Naked Scientists
Does fog have a dampening effect on sounds?
« Reply #3 on: 17/06/2009 19:52:25 »
One point I'd like to have made when answering this question on the show (but didn't owing to lack of time) is that this is also the reason why fog horns use low frequencies.

High pitched sounds have a high frequency, which in turns means they have a short wavelength (because velocity = f x lambda). This means that to transmit a high frequency wave lots of air has to be moved back and forth, and very quickly. Consequently the losses / damping effects are high, so the sound doesn't travel very far.

But low pitched notes, with a low frequency and a big wavelength, are moving the air less fast and less often and therefore the losses are reduced. Consequently low-pitched notes as less affected by fog and will also travel further. Hence they are more ideal for a fog horn.

This also explains (at least in part) why you can hear the bass from a passing car's stereo much more than the treble.

Chris
« Last Edit: 17/06/2009 19:54:13 by chris »
 

aricept

  • Guest
None
« Reply #4 on: 25/03/2010 10:55:04 »
Great, http://darvocet.socialgo.com darvocet,  rfwzm, http://carinsuranceforteenagers.socialgo.com Discount car insurance for teenagers,  1916, http://downloadlimewireprofree.socialgo.com download limewire pro free now,  =-))), http://aricept.socialgo.com First aricept,  :-]], http://freemusicalecards.socialgo.com free musical ecards information,  558,
 

First student debt consolidation loans

  • Guest
None
« Reply #5 on: 25/03/2010 11:17:10 »
Your Site Is Great!, http://www.humblevoice.com/nocreditcheckstudentloan no credit check student loan here,  %-]], http://www.humblevoice.com/studentdebtconsolidationloans student debt consolidation loans,  =DDD, http://www.humblevoice.com/badcreditstudentloans bad credit student loans,  698, http://www.humblevoice.com/nocreditcheckloans no credit check loans,  8OOO, http://www.humblevoice.com/highriskpersonalloans high risk personal loans now,  086,
 

Cheap percocet

  • Guest
None
« Reply #6 on: 25/03/2010 11:39:15 »
What is it, http://militaryloans.socialgo.com military loans,  84262, http://diovan.socialgo.com Only diovan,  cquv, http://percocet.socialgo.com Cheap percocet,  %DDD, http://hairtransplant.socialgo.com hair transplant,  8DD, http://arthritistreatments.socialgo.com arthritis treatments,  79097,
 

guaranteed online personal loans

  • Guest
 

Best acs student loans

  • Guest
None
« Reply #8 on: 25/03/2010 12:23:25 »
 

First airline discount ticket military

  • Guest
 

Bill

  • Guest
None
« Reply #10 on: 17/09/2016 09:08:54 »
Have you ever been in fog?  sounds travel extremely well in fog, better than clear air by far.
 

The Naked Scientists Forum

None
« Reply #10 on: 17/09/2016 09:08:54 »

 

SMF 2.0.10 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
SMFAds for Free Forums