Breaking objects produce sound in the same basic way in which all sound is produced. The force of the breaking physically pushes air molecules against each other, forming a pressure wave that is detected and converted into sound by our ears. Sound is nothing more than a wave that travels through the air, or other matter. For this reason, sound does not exist unless it has a physical medium through which it can travel.
When an object breaks, the energy released by the break causes the object to vibrate. These vibrations, in turn, cause the air molecules around the object to vibrate. As the first air molecules vibrate, they knock against the air molecules next to them, and those knock against the air molecules next to them. This process continues until the vibrations caused by the breaking object expand through the air as a pressure wave.
Sound doesn’t necessarily have to travel through the air. It can also travel through water and other physical objects. That’s why we can hear things that happen on the other side of a wall. The wave of air molecules strikes against the wall and causes those molecules to knock against each other, continuing the wave. Of course, the molecules in a wall are much more difficult to move than air molecules, which is why sound travelling through a wall is much softer than sound travelling directly through the air.
Sounds are different from one another due to the frequency and amplitude of the waves generated. Amplitude refers to the force of the waves. The stronger the vibrations that create the waves, the louder the sound will be. Frequency refers to the pitch the waves produce, which is determined by how fast the object is vibrating when it breaks. Fast vibrations are of higher frequency, and they produce a higher pitched sound. Slower vibrations produce lower pitched sounds.
Now, sound does not actually exist until it is picked up by our ears. Inside our ears are tiny little bones. When the sound waves strike these bones, they vibrate against nerves that convert the waves into electrical signals. These electrical signals are then translated by the brain into what we perceive as sound.
Posted 552 day ago