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Is there any material that sound won’t travel through?

Is there any material that sound won’t travel through?
James Dixon from Hampshire (Aged 5-14)

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3 Responses

  1. Hello James. Sound is made from vibrations – it’s simply small changes of pressure in air or any other material you may think of.

    Sound generally travels best through materials where there is lots of freedom for the particles within the material to move – so that means gas or liquids. It travels very badly through solids which is why thick walls will generally stop it.

    The only place where sound will not travel is in a vacuum – that is, space which contains no material at all. It’s also possible to create partial vacuums in the science laboratory to test this theory. For example, there is no sound outside of the Earth’s atmosphere.

    There’s a very famous science fiction film which was advertised for the cinema with the line “In space no-one can hear you scream”. Do you know which one?

  2. Thank you for the answer, now I can get to sleep better!

    My mum told me that the film was called 2001 A Space Odyssey, but I’m not old enough to watch it yet.

    I love doing science at school and at home and would like to be a scientist when I grow up.

  3. Whoops! Wrong film. It was Alien.

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