PhysicsQuest: Sound



In this PhysicsQuest you will be learning about sound and how sound waves behave.  This information may be on the test!

  1. What type of wave, transverse or longitudinal, is a sound wave? (PhysicsClassroom)
  2. Put the following types of mediums in order from slowest speed of sound to fastest speed of sound: solid, liquid, gas.  Explain why the mediums are ranked in this order. (PhysicsClassroom)
  3. Think and Answer: The speed of sound in air is often treated as a constant, but the atmosphere gets less dense the higher up you go.  Would the speed of sound be faster close to the ground, or high in the sky?
  4. Think and Answer: You have likely been told that you can count the number of seconds between seeing lightning and hearing thunder and figure out how far away the lightning was.  Calculate how many seconds it would take thunder to reach you if the lightning strike was 1 mile (1609 m) away.  Assume the light reaches you instantaneously (light travels 186,000 miles/second so it’s a good assumption).  Assume sound travels at a constant speed of 343 m/s.  Show your work!
  5. What is the Doppler Effect? (PhysicsClassroom)
  6. Think and Answer: How would the Doppler Effect sound to you if a sound source (i.e. siren) was passing you?
  7. What is Resonance? (Wikipedia)
  8. What is an object’s Natural Frequency? Explain in terms of a pendulum or a mass-spring system. (PhysicsClassroom)
  9. Recall that the period of a pendulum, and therefore the frequency of the swing, is determined by the length of the pendulum.  Using the concepts of resonance and natural frequency, explain why a child on a swing (i.e. a pendulum) will always swing at the same frequency. (HyperPhysics)
  10. How are frequency and pitch related?  What range of frequencies can a young person hear? (HowMusicWorks)
  11. Why does a glass “sing” when a finger rubs the rim? What can you do to change the pitch of the tone created? (YouTube)


One Response to PhysicsQuest: Sound

  1. Pingback: PreAP Assignment: April 6 & 7 - Physics!

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