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Why does helium make your voice higher?


4282 day(s) ago

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ebilwabbit
Sound travels through different solids and gasses at different rates. When sound waves travel very quickly, it sounds "higher" than sound that moves slowly. Sound (your voice) moves much more quickly through helium than it does in normal air, so it gives us the effect of squeaky "higher" voice.

Think of sound waves like tossing a stone into a still pool of water. When you do this, the pressure of the stone hitting the surface temporarily shoves the water out of the way causing rings of ripples to form and travel outward. When we make sound, it is much the same -- sound waves travel out in ripples, condensing the air into wavy ripples. The faster these ripples move (high frequency) the higher the pitch sounds. This also explains why "in space, no one can hear you scream" -- because in a vacuum, there is nothing to compress into waves -- no air, no sound!



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