Does a radio wave travel faster than an acoustical one?Describe the differences?

  1. Mentalist acer profile image59
    Mentalist acerposted 8 years ago

    Does a radio wave travel faster than an acoustical one?Describe the differences?

  2. Daniel J. Neumann profile image60
    Daniel J. Neumannposted 8 years ago

    Yes. Radio waves are light, going at 186,000 miles per second. Sound waves go at 343 meters per second. Light are photons, with wave-particle duality. Sound is matter vibrating as waves. Light cannot go through solids. Sound goes faster through solids. Light can go through a vacuum (and that's it's fastest), while sound cannot.

  3. profile image82
    Paul_Steadsposted 8 years ago

    There are several differences between accoustical waves and radio waves

    1) Radio waves are electromagnetic waves. This means that they exist due to an oscillating magnetic and electric wave. Light and X-rays are also electromagnetic waves. In vacuum and in air all forms of electromagnetic radiation including radio waves travel at 300000000 metres per second. They do not need matter to propogate (i.e. they can travel through a vacuum). In materials radio waves propogate slower than when in air.

    Radio waves are transverse waves (like all electromagnetic radiation). This means that the oscillating electric and magnetic fields are perpendicular to the direction of motion of the wave.

    2) Accoustical waves are mechanical waves arising from motion of atoms or molecules. In air accoustical waves travel at about 343 metres per second. Accoustical waves need matter to propogate i.e. they cannot travel in a vacuum. In materials accoustical waves propogate faster than when in air. For example in steel accoustical waves travel at about 6000 metres per second and in water at 1500 metres per second.

    Accoustical waves in gases (such as air) are longitudinal waves (compare with radio waves which are transverse waves). This means that the vibrating molecules are oscillating parallel to the direction of the wave. In solids and liquids the accoustical waves can have a component which is transverse too.

    Anyway to answer your question in air radio waves travel much faster than accoustical waves (300000000 metres per second compared to 343 metres per second). Even in materials although radio waves slow down and accoustical waves speed the radio waves should still be faster. There have been claims, however, that in certain circumstances sound can travel faster than the speed of light (which is the same as the speed of radio waves). I must emphasise that nothing, including sound, can travel faster than the speed of light in vacuum.

    I hope this is helpful. Thanks for your question.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)