In the previous chapter, we used the term “sound” without a formal definition. In this chapter, we give a more quantitative description of the phenomenon of sound through the *wave equation*. The wave equation, derived in Section 4.2, is a linear partial differential equation whose solution describes pressure and velocity of air particles in a sound wave as a function of time and space, and provides a means to approximately describe the acoustics of speech production. In arriving at the wave equation, we remove nonlinear contributions to the relationship between particle pressure and velocity. This simplification, although valid under a small particle velocity assumption, prohibits rotational ...

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