Scientists Say: Acoustic | Science News for Students

Scientists Say: Acoustic

This word describes something involving hearing or sound
Jun 19, 2017 — 6:50 am EST
acoustic guitar

An acoustic guitar gets its name from a word associated with sound. When a guitar’s string is strummed, it makes the air vibrate, producing sound. The study of those sounds is a branch of physics called acoustics.

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Acoustic (adjective, “Ah-COOS-tick”)

This is a word that is used to describe properties of sound or hearing. The way sounds behave in a room are the room’s acoustic properties. An organism’s range of hearing is its acoustic range. When the word is the plural “acoustics,” it becomes a noun and can have one of two meanings. It is an area of physics that studies the properties of sound. It is also shorthand for the sound quality of a room or space.

In a sentence

Spiders don’t have eardrums, but they still have an acoustic range — they can sense sound vibrations.

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Power Words

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acoustic   (adjective) relating to the sense or hearing of sound. (noun, acoustics) A branch of physics that studies sound or the sound qualities of a room or space.

organism     Any living thing, from elephants and plants to bacteria and other types of single-celled life.

physics     The scientific study of the nature and properties of matter and energy. Classical physics is an explanation of the nature and properties of matter and energy that relies on descriptions such as Newton’s laws of motion. Quantum physics, a field of study that emerged later, is a more accurate way of explaining the motions and behavior of matter. A scientist who works in such areas is known as a physicist.

range     The full extent or distribution of something. For instance, a plant or animal’s range is the area over which it naturally exists. (in math or for measurements) The extent to which variation in values is possible. Also, the distance within which something can be reached or perceived.

spider     A type of arthropod with four pairs of legs that usually spin threads of silk that they can use to create webs or other structures.

NGSS: 

  • MS-PS4-1
  • MS-PS4-2
  • HS-PS3-3
  • HS-PS4-1