# Re: question

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Posted by Joel on October 14, 2002 at 00:06:33:

In Reply to: Re: question posted by Lisa on October 13, 2002 at 22:18:46:

: so would it be written as [10 log (10^2/ a_0)]

:
: The noise level of one sound is 20 decibals higher than that of a second sound. Find the ratio of the intensity of the first sound to the second sound.

: The question was to find the ration and I was asking if I had written the ratio correctly.

:
: : The ratio is (louder divided by softer), so I guess it depends on how you define your I_1 and I_2. I think it's usually written as I1/I0 where I1 is the sound in question and I0 is the "reference level" -- that is, what the sound in question is being compared to.

A ratio is just another word for fraction or quotient, one number divided by another. So a ratio can be written in various ways. Let's say, there are 4 women and 2 men in the room. What is the ratio of women to men? It can be written as 4/2 (which reduces to simply 2). It can be written as "4 to 2" or "2 to 1". It can be written as 4:2 or 2:1. All of these are just different forms of the same thing, all are correct.
In your problem you don't know either number individually so it limits your choices. You could write it as "100 to 1", or you can write it as simply 100.

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