absorption

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(n.) Receiving an impulse without a corresponding reflection or echo. Absorption is the act or process of absorbing. Sound energy is absorbed when it passes through a medium or when it strikes a surface. Sound molecules lose energy upon striking atoms on the surface of a material, which become agitated and warmer. Absorption, then, is literally the conversion of sound energy into heat. The ability of a material to absorb sound is quantified by a value ranging from 0 (total reflection) to 1 (total absorption), and it varies with sound frequency and the angle of incidence.