Sound Wave
Light, Sound and Waves

Sounds through solids and liquids as well as gases

Teaching Guidance for 5-11 11-14 Supporting Physics Teaching

Sounds through solids and liquids

Thinking about the learning

Pupils need to appreciate that sounds can travel not only through gases but also through solids and liquids.

Teacher Tip: Use examples where sound travels through media other than air.

Thinking about the teaching

You can have an interesting discussion with pupils about sounds travelling through solids and liquids. Most of them will be able to tell you that they can still hear muffled sounds while swimming underwater in a swimming pool. They may have seen TV or films in which submarine crews are able to hear the sound of the engine on a passing ship. Some may have played at passing messages down iron railings by tapping one end and getting a friend to put their ear next to the railing at the other end.

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