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Q & A: who hears the concert first?

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Most recent answer: 09/17/2013
A concert is going on in a field. Beside that field, there is a multi-storey building. In that building, a security guard is sitting on the ground floor. And on the same position, ten stories above, the owner is sitting. Now who will hear the sound of the concert first and why? Plus, it is summer. This question was asked by our Physics teacher. He has said that no-one has yet answered this question. It would mean a lot if you could reply, thank you. Anika
- Anika Bushra (age 15)
Dhaka, Bangladesh

A simple physics answer would be that the guard hears the concert first, by a tiny bit, because the sound has a shorter distance to travel to reach him. If, however, the owner has a fancy electronic live-feed from the concert, he may hear the concert first, because electrical signals travel much faster than sound. So it depends on both physics and economics. Perhaps that's why your teacher said no-one had the answer.

Mike W.

(published on 09/17/2013)

Follow-up on this answer.