We investigated students’ mental models of sound propagation in introductory physics classes. In addition to the scientifically accepted wave model, students used the “entity” model. In this model sound is a self-standing entity, different from the medium, and propagating through it. All other observed alternative models are composed of entity and wave ingredients, but at the same time they are distinct from each of the constituent models. We called these models “hybrid” models. We will discuss how students use these models in various contexts before and after instruction.
Hrepic, Zdeslav, "Identifying Students' Models of Sound Propagation" (2002). Faculty Bibliography. 575.