Some students may confuse the ray model of light with sound and therefore consider 'hearing' as a ray going from a source of sound to the ear and back

Light, Sound and Waves


Resources to Address This

  • Light rays but not sound rays  (5-11 and 11-14)

    Ref - SPT HS02 TL08 and So01 TL09

    Do not use the idea of rays in discussing sound.  Sound does not travel in sharply defined beams. Instead it spreads much more as it goes – beams are very hard to maintain.

    View Resource


The following studies have documented this misconception:

  • Lautrey, J. & K. Mazens () Is children’s naive knowledge consistent? A comparison of the concepts of sound and heat. Learning and Instruction, 14, Elsevier,


    Review sheet

  • Sözen, M. & Bolat, M. () Determining the misconceptions of primary school students related to sound transmission through drawing. Procedia Social and Behavioral Sciences, 15,



    Review sheet

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