What is Energy?
The simplest definition of energy is “the ability to do work”. Energy is how things change and move. It’s everywhere around us and takes all sorts of forms. It takes energy to: cook food, drive to school, jump and think.
One can say that energy is the cause of any change. Energy is a conserved quantity, meaning that it cannot be created or destroyed, rather converted from one form into another. Thus, the total energy of the universe always remains constant.
Sound and Energy
Sound is a form of energy made by vibrations. When an object vibrates, it causes the air particles around it to move. These particles bump into the particles that are close to them, which in turn causes those particles to bump into more particles. … So when making the sound “aah” our vocal cords vibrate to form that sound.
When Einstein defined e=mc2, he showed that energy is the same as matter, just vibrating at different speeds. On the subatomic level, things can act interchangeably, either as particles, which have a mass, or as waves, having no mass and being just energy moving as a wave.
Sound is defined as vibrations that move through the atmosphere that can be heard. Sound vibrations are waves moving at particular frequencies that are measured in Hertz (Hz). Humans hear vibrations in the acoustic range of between 20 and 20,000 Hz. – this is the ultrasound range which is beyond the human ear’s capacity.
Sound occurs when a moving or vibrating object causes the air around it to move, creating sound waves. We hear sound when these waves travel into the ear canal and bounce onto the eardrum to create a vibration. These are picked up by three tiny bones in the middle ear, which then pass to the inner ear, the cochlea. The cochlea is filled with liquid that converts the vibrations into electrical impulses, which are then sent to the brain. The brain interprets the impulses as sound via a remarkable synchronicity of neurochemistry within the cerebellum, mesolimbic and frontal lobes, to elicit a wide array of memories, feelings, actions and thoughts.
There is another route by which sound can reach the inner ear: by conduction through the bones of the skull. Vibrations can travel through the skull and are passed on to the inner ear either directly or indirectly, through the bone. So you can also feel and listen to music through your whole body, not just your ear.