Sample rate 

sample rate is the number of times per second the analogue to digital convertor measures the incoming signal.  not to be confused with the resolution of this measurement (specified in bits).  current compact disc standard is 16 bit/44100 with professional audio workstations using 24 bit systems.
see ADC

48000 samples/sec high quality - default rate for some DAT  machines
44100 cd quality
22050 reasonable for speech - often sound effect CDs are sampled at this rate
11025 documentation of speech - poor quality but requires little storage space

File sizes are a direct result of the sampling rate and the 
word size or number of bits used to capture the amplitude.
With a 16 bit word size and a 44.1 KHz sampling rate, 
1 minute of audio (uncompressed)
occupies 5 Meg (mono) and 10 Meg (stereo)
[44,100 * 60 seconds = 2,646,000 words. 
A word = 2 bytes. 
So 60 seconds requires 5,292,00 bytes (mono)]