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A TONE having more than a single FREQUENCY component. For instance, a tone consisting of a FUNDAMENTAL and OVERTONEs or HARMONICs, may be said to be complex.
For any PERIODIC wave the wavelength is the distance from a given point in the wave to the corresponding point in the next cycle of the wave, frequently represented by the Greek letter lambda. It may also be thought of as the distance the sound travels in one CYCLE or PERIOD.
The use of reflected SOUND WAVEs for obtaining environmental information. Certain animals, such as the bat and the porpoise, emit pulses of extremely high frequency sound (up to 50 kHz for bats, and up to 170 kHz for porpoises and whales) in narrow, intense streams. The REFLECTION, or ECHO, of these sounds supplies information regarding the nature and location of objects in the environment. When an emission of varying frequency is used, such as with bats, the echoes, travelling varying distances to the ear, are heard as different frequencies in each ear, thus supplying directional information.
Sound at frequencies above the audible range, namely above 20 kHz, audible only to various non-human species. Because of its very short WAVELENGTH in the megahertz range, ultrasound is used as a safe alternative to X-ray photography in medical diagnosis. Ultrasound scanning is sometimes called sonography.