Surround sound is the use of multiple speakers to create a 360 degree real life effect for the viewer/listener pleasure.
The most common surround sound system is 5.1 used both in a home and proffesnial situations. The 5 stands for the five monitor speakers, and the .1 for the subwoofer. The normal setup is to have one speaker facing fowards in the center mainly used for dialog. Two front left and right speaker, and 2 rear left and right speaker placed behind the listner.
To make a piece of audio compatiable with a surround sound sytem, it would need to be mixed in audio editing software such as Pro tools. The operator would pan the track to the desired direction, i.e. vocals would been paned to the center.
Although 5.1 is the most common setup, 7.1 and even 22.1(sport) are being used mainly in a proffesnial situation.Here are some usefull websites :