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Old 04-28-2005, 04:15 PM   #64
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Seattle
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Originally Posted by smoothmoniker
Kind of

When two waves of pressure occupy the same space, they combine additively. If you drop a small stone with a 1 inch wave, and then a large stone with a 2 foot wave, when the two of them occupy the same space, the wave will be 2'1" high. The same thing with sound frequencies in a space. When a large wave and a small wave occupy the same space, they combine additively.

The reason they don't all get mashed up is that our ears are very, very good at reversing the process. They can listen to an complex waveform and pick out the composing simple waves.
sm, perhaps and explanation of frequency versus amplitude would help here. Strictly speaking, two waves of equal frequency, each having an amplitued of 2'1", but one is from a pair of rocks like you described and the other from a single rock that makes that same wave would be indistinguishable from each other.

regarding the record player example, it's just like the speaker/microphone example. the physical movement of the needle in the wavy groove moves back and forth as it follows the sides of the groove on the record. As it swings left and right, it moves inside a coil of wire. This movement inside a coil of wire induces a current in the wire, which is then amplified, just like the other examples.
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