Rarefractions [definition & visual research]

A decrease in the density of something is rarefaction. As you climb a mountain, you experience rarefaction of the air; the air becomes less dense the higher up you go.
Most of the time, rarefaction refers to air or other gases becoming less dense. When rarefaction occurs, the particles in a gas become more spread out. You may come across this word in the context of sound waves. A sound wave moving through air is made up of alternating areas of higher and lower density. The areas of lower density are called rarefactions. [*]

in the physics of sound, segment of one cycle of a longitudinal wave during its travel or motion, the other segment being compression. If the prong of a tuning fork vibrates in the air, for example, the layer of air adjacent to the prong undergoes compression when the prong moves so as to squeeze the air molecules together. When the prong springs back in the opposite direction, however, it leaves an area of reduced air pressure. This is rarefaction. A succession of rarefactions and compressions makes up the longitudinal wave motion that emanates from an acoustic source. [1]


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