Saturday, December 17, 2011

On Resonance and Sound

In contrast to our experiment last meeting (Calorimetry), we performed an experiment regarding waves this week. Specifically, we performed an experiment which demonstrated resonance, the increase in amplitude of vibration of a body due to the constructive interference of the driving force of the vibration’s frequency and the body’s characteristic frequency of vibration.

Using a resonance “tube” filled with water and a speaker of constant frequency on top of the tube, we looked for the water levels wherein the sound volume was at a maximum. These water levels correspond to the length of the tube that allowed standing waves to be set-up. Also, at these water levels, resonance was observed. By getting the average of the difference between the distance where resonance was observed, we were able to obtain the wavelength using ΔL=½λ. Finally, using v=fλ, we obtained the speed of sound in the tube.

The experiment was quite difficult because it required us to hold the speaker manually above the tube. It was tiring so we took turns doing it. Also, water from the tube unfortunately spilled on the floor which caused quite a mess. Apart from these, I thoroughly enjoyed the experiment because we had good group dynamics.

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