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Name: Carol
Status: other
Age: 30s
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 1999 


Question:
When a guitar's string is plucked, what causes the actual sound we hear - the movement of the string, or the displacement of air caused by the string? Would we be able to hear sound on the moon, where there is no air?


Replies:
The sound of the guitar string we hear is due to the disturbance that travels through the air as a longitudinal wave. The air acts as the medium of sound transfer. On the moon, where there is no atmosphere to speak of, there is no medium to transfer the sound. Although plucked, the sound does not have a medium in which to travel, so would not have a sound. Inside the pressurized Lunar Excursion Module, you would hear the instrument just fine. Outside, it would be silent.

---Nathan A. Unterman



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