eThermo Thermodynamics & Transport Properties Calculation » Speed of Sound
Speed of Sound

The speed of sound is the distance travelled per unit time by a sound wave propagating through an elastic medium. The SI unit of speed is the metre per second (m/s). In dry air at 20 °C, the speed of sound is 343.2 metres per second.

The speed of sound in an ideal gas is independent of frequency, but does vary slightly with frequency in a real gas. It is proportional to the square root of the absolute temperature, but is independent of pressure or density for a given ideal gas. The speed of sound in air varies slightly with pressure only because air is not quite an ideal gas. Although (in the case of gases only) the speed of sound is expressed in terms of a ratio of both density and pressure, these quantities cancel in ideal gases at any given temperature, composition, and heat capacity. This leads to a velocity formula for ideal gases which includes only the latter independent variables.