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July 27, 2015
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Sound travels faster in lighter medium. Because helium has a much lower mass than nitrogen and oxygen, sound will travel faster in a throat filled with helium than the one filled with air.

When we speak, our throat generates sound with frequency of multiples of a fundamental frequency, which is determined by the shape and size of vocal section. At any time, those harmonics will either be dampened or resonate based on the medium(air or helium). When helium is present, the speed of sound increases, the medium will shift the resonance to higher frequencies which, otherwise, would be dampened in the presence of air. Once the sound is dominated by higher frequencies, we hear that squeaky sound.
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