# When sound waves superimpose they can interfere

## What are sound waves?

Sound waves are compressional waves that propagate through a medium by vibrating the particles within that medium. The type of medium (solid, liquid, or gas) affects the properties of the wave, such as its speed and wavelength. In general, sound waves travel faster in denser media and have shorter wavelengths in denser media.

## What is superimposition?

Superimposition is when two or more waves combine to create a new waveform. The new waveform will have a different amplitude and/or wavelength than the original waves. Superposition can occur with any type of wave, including sound waves, water waves, and light waves.

When two sound waves superimpose, they can either reinforce or cancel each other out. This phenomenon is called interference. Interference can be constructive or destructive. Constructive interference occurs when the crest of one wave meets the trough of another wave and they reinforce each other. Destructive interference occurs when the crest of one wave meets the crest of another wave and they cancel each other out.

Interference patterns can be created by impede (reflection), reflection off a hard surface, or diffraction through an opening. You’ve probably seen examples of interference patterns before when looking at light reflecting off of water or light shining through a slitted card.

## What is interference?

Interference is what happens when two waves share the same space. When this happens, the waves interact with each other and create a new wave. The interference pattern is the result of this interaction.

Interference can be constructive or destructive. Constructive interference occurs when the two waves work together to create a new wave that is bigger than either of the original waves. Destructive interference occurs when the two waves work against each other and cancel each other out.

## How do sound waves interfere?

When two or more sound waves meet, they superimpose. This means that the disturbance caused by each wave is added to the disturbance caused by the other waves. If the two waves are exactly in step with each other, then the waves reinforce each other and the result is a louder sound. This is called constructive interference.

If the two waves are out of step with each other, then they can cancel each other out. This is called destructive interference. The amount of reinforcement or cancellation depends on how big the difference is between the two waveforms.

## What are the consequences of wave interference?

When two sound waves superimpose, they can interfere with each other. The effects of this interference can be either constructive or destructive.

Constructive interference occurs when the two waves combine to create a new wave with a higher amplitude. This type of interference can make a sound louder.

Destructive interference occurs when the two waves combine to create a new wave with a lower amplitude. This type of interference can make a sound softer.