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The atmosphere exerts pressure on all objects in it. When a vibrating body moves in air, it creates slight disturbances of the AMBIENT atmospheric pressure. The AMPLITUDE of these pressure variations is called the sound pressure variation, whereas the effective pressure variation is 0.707 the maximum value. The oscillating variations in sound pressure (called the WAVEFORM of the sound) PROPAGATE in the form of a SOUND WAVE.
When a system with a natural vibrating FREQUENCY is stimulated by an outside force of the same frequency, the system can be set in a motion called VIBRATION. As the frequency of the stimulus closely approaches that of the system, OSCILLATION occurs, which reaches a maximum AMPLITUDE at the natural resonant frequency.
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.
If two TONEs are about 15 Hertz or less apart, INTERFERENCE will result from their similar though not exactly identical frequencies. Gradually they will move out of PHASE until at 180° destructive interference results, producing diminished loudness. When they move back into phase, constructive interference will produce increased loudness. Thus, beats are a form of AMPLITUDE MODULATION. As two frequencies are brought closer together, the beats will gradually slow down and disappear when they become identical.