Analysis of sound usually treats sound as waves; in many ways, sound waves are analogous to ocean waves or ripples in water caused by dropping a stone in a pond or puddle. Sound has the following characteristics and properties which affect its perception:

Sound perception

In general, a body part, such as a hair or a membrane, vibrates in sympathy with the movement of molecules in the surrounding medium (air, water, or soil). This starts the chain of events that leads to transduction. While the principles underlying perception of sound are basically the same for different frequencies, sounds below the normal human range of hearing (infrasound) or above it (ultrasound) sometimes differ in their perception more details can be found by following the appropriate link:


(5-50 hz)

perception of infrasound

The human hearing range, 20-20,000 hz


(above the human hearing range, greater than 20,000 hz)

perception of ultrasound

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copyright ©2001 Michael D. Breed, all rights reserved