According to a paper released July 23 with arXiv a group of scientists have now considered sound to have negative mass, and constantly drifting in all directions. This new concept has shattered the conventional way of thinking about sound as a wave. This new paper argues the fact that instead of sound acting like a wave rippling through matter it is matter.

A phonon — a particle-like unit of vibration that can describe sound at very small scales — has a very slight negative mass, and that means sound waves travel upward ever so slightly, said Rafael Krichevsky, a graduate student in physics at Columbia University. Just as light waves are described as photons, phonons are a way to describe sound waves. Although there is no physical particle emerging, researchers can use mathematics of particles to describe it.

According to Krichevsky when a person speaks, the sound that comes out will shoot out and eventually bend upward to the sky. Sound is known to move faster through a denser media than a less-dense media, therefore, speed of sound above a phonon will be  lower than a slightly denser particle below it. If this is true, sound can be thought of a a negative gravity.

The paper also states that the effect is so small it cannot be measuring with technology. As scientists look deeper into this new theory of sound, a precise measurement tool could be made to detect the curvature of the phonons path. This paper has changed the perception of sound and how it interacts with the environment. As more data arises, we will know the true nature of sound. So now we wait to see if sound really is like negative gravity.

 

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