I am seeking the solid with the maximum possible speed of sound . At the begining I though it depended on the density of the solid but at the same temperature the element ruthenium give a higher speed for of sound than the denser element osmium. The difference is about $1000 \mathrm{m/s}$ at $20\mathrm{°C}$.

So can someone tell where and how can to find the solid in which the speed of the sound is the highest?

I emphasis that I am not asking only for the elements of the periodic table, it can be any solid material, even a mixture of materials.

Thank you in advance !

  • $\begingroup$ It's just a hunch but you might want to check diamond (carbon allotrope). $\endgroup$
    – Gert
    Aug 21, 2016 at 22:21

1 Answer 1


Light elements are best (all atoms are about the same size, low mass density and large Young's modulus make best speed).
Beryllium 12900 m/s, Boron 16,200m/s, diamond 18350 m/s, cubic BN 10300 m/s. Other solids, like LiH, LiBH4, B4C, hexagonal BN, and graphite, are worth checking, but I only find data for B4C(11000 m/s).

Diamond wins, but Beryllium is available in large chunks, and Boron in long filaments.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.