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Sound waves can travel through different mediums, such as air or water, and move at different speeds depending on what they're travelling through. (Representational Image). Unsplash

The fastest possible speed of sound has been recorded for the first time which is about 36 km per second.

The result is around twice as fast as the speed of sound in diamond, the hardest known material in the world, said the researchers from Queen Mary University of London, the University of Cambridge and the Institute for High Pressure Physics in Troitsk, Moscow.


Sound waves can travel through different mediums, such as air or water, and move at different speeds depending on what they’re travelling through.

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For example, they move through solids much faster than they would through liquids or gases, which is why we are able to hear an approaching train much faster if you listen to the sound propagating in the rail track rather than through the air.

Einstein’s theory of special relativity sets the absolute speed limit at which a wave can travel which is the speed of light, and is equal to about 300,000 km per second.

Want to read more in Hindi? Checkout: भारतीय मुसलमान विश्व में सबसे संतुष्ट : मोहन भागवत

However, it was not known to date whether sound waves also have an upper speed limit when travelling through solids or liquids.

“Sound waves in solids are already hugely important across many scientific fields. For example, seismologists use sound waves initiated by earthquakes deep in the Earth interior to understand the nature of seismic events and the properties of Earth composition,”

explained Professor Chris Pickard, Professor of Materials Science at the University of Cambridge.

The study, published in the journal Science Advances, shows that predicting the upper limit of the speed of sound is dependent on two dimensionless fundamental constants — the fine structure constant and the proton-to-electron mass ratio.


Predicting the upper limit of the speed of sound is dependent on two dimensionless fundamental constants — the fine structure constant and the proton-to-electron mass ratio. (Representational Image). Unsplash

The new findings suggest that these two fundamental constants can also influence other scientific fields, such as materials science and condensed matter physics, by setting limits to specific material properties such as the speed of sound.

The scientists tested their theoretical prediction on a wide range of materials and addressed one specific prediction of their theory that the speed of sound should decrease with the mass of the atom.

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This prediction implies that the sound is the fastest in solid atomic hydrogen. Researchers performed state-of-the-art quantum mechanical calculations to test this prediction and found that the speed of sound in solid atomic hydrogen is close to the theoretical fundamental limit.

“Sound waves are also of interest to materials scientists because sound waves are related to important elastic properties including the ability to resist stress,” Pickard said. (IANS)


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On the opening day of the wrestling competition, Ravi Kumar defeated Bulgaria's Georgi Vangelov 14-4 on technical superiority to reach the last-four in the men's 57kg category, while compatriot Deepak Punia overcame China's Zushen Lin 6-3 on points to advance to the semifinals.

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Earlier, Ravi Kumar had won his opening-round bout by technical superiority against Colombia's Oscar Tigreros to secure a quarterfinal spot. Competing in the Round-of-16 bout against the Colombian wrestler, the 23-year-old Ravi Kumar, who is making his Olympic debut, showed no nerves as he dominated the bout to win by technical superiority (13-2).

Ravi Kumar landed attack after attack and went 13-2 up, winning the bout by technical superiority with minutes to spare. In wrestling, building up a 10-point lead over the opponent results in a victory by technical superiority.

India's 86kg freestyle wrestler Deepak Punia showed no signs of the niggle that had forced him to pull out of the Poland Open Ranking Series in Warsaw in June, as he defeated Nigeria's Ekerekeme Agiomor on technical superiority to secure a quarterfinal berth.

He got his Olympic campaign to a fine start as he was in control from the start of the bout and hardly ever allowed his Nigerian opponent any room to maneuver his moves, finally winning with a 12-1 on technical superiority.

Punia, who had also suffered an elbow injury just before the Games, was slow at the start but came into his own as the bout progressed, inflicting takedowns at regular intervals to earn points.

The Indian wrestler eased into a 4-1 lead at the break and extended his lead comfortably in the second period.

Punia, the silver medallist from the 2019 world wrestling championships, then set up a clash with China's Lin Zushen in the quarterfinals and defeated him 6-3.

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