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Q & A: Speed of sound in water

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Most recent answer: 02/23/2013
Q:
If sound travels faster through liquid than air why can I not hear the voices of people on land while I am under water only a few feet away? Thank you Willy
- Willy (age 12)
christchurch, new zealand
A:
Hi Willy,  nice question.
It is true that sound travels faster in water than in air.  But, the sound has to get into the water somehow.  For someone talking above the water level their sound waves mostly bounce off of the air-water interface and hardly any enters the water.   If somehow they could talk under water, hard to do,  you could hear them well. 

LeeH

(published on 02/23/2013)

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