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EXPERIMENT 12

Experiment conducted 12/2010

PHY 152: General Physics

April 7, 2011

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Discussion_____________________________________________________________ 2

Theory ________________________________________________________________ 2

Equipment ____________________________________________________________ 4

Experimental Procedure _________________________________________________ 4

Experimental Procedure _________________________________________________ 4

Setting up Resonance Tube ___________________________________________________ 4

Finding Points of Resonance __________________________________________________ 4

Calculations ___________________________________________________________ 6

Graphing the Data ___________________________________________________________ 6

Determining Wavelength _____________________________________________________ 7

Determining the Relationship Between Wavelength and Frequency __________________ 7

Converting from cm/s to m/s __________________________________________________ 7

Determining the Speed of Sound from Room Temperature _________________________ 7

Analysis_______________________________________________________________ 8

Determining the Percent Difference Between Speed of Sound _______________________ 8

Conclusion ____________________________________________________________ 8

Questions _____________________________________________________________ 9

References ____________________________________________________________ 9

1

RESONANCE OF A CLOSED AIR COLUMN

DISCUSSION

The principle of resonance can by utilized to determine the wavelength of a sound wave.

Sound waves are produced by the compression of a substance by vibrations caused by objects

such as vocal cords, guitar strings, organ pipe, loud speaker, and so forth (Physics of Sound,

para. 1). A resonance frequency exists when a system is driven by its natural frequency.

Pendulums and swings demonstrate only one natural frequency (Spalding, 2010, pp. 3-15).

Conversely, a column of air can demonstrate several natural frequencies which are

determined by the amount of wavelength segments that can be found within a given tube

length. When a tuning fork possesses the same natural frequency as the air column, the

vibrations from the tuning fork will push the air particles at a frequency that will cause the air

column to vibrate.

Resonance is said to have occurred when the amplitude of sound increases from the

sound waves of the tuning fork reinforces the sound waves from the air column. By

determining points of resonance, the velocity of a wave can be determine by the equation

v=Ȝ·f.

THEORY

A sound wave can be created when a

tuning fork is held over an open portion

of a tube similar in respect to how sound

is created when a person blows air into a

bottle. In a closed air column, the open

end is termed the antinode, while the

closed end is termed the node. When a

tuning fork is placed over the open

region of the tube, a disturbance is

created by the alternative compressions

produced by the sound wave. A standing

wave is produced when the alternate

compressions and rarefactions of the

sound wave down the tubing are

reflected at the tubing¶s closed end into

the opposite direction therefore creating

the propagation of waves in the same

region although in opposing directions.

The nature by which a standing wave is

produced creates a condition where the

wave has fixed maximum and minimum

points.

The shortest length of a tube to

resonate at a given frequency is satisfied

by a tube that is a quarter of the

wavelength or L=1/4Ȝ. This is because

half of the wavelength is represented by

the distance from one node to another

node, and the tube will resonate at the

tuning fork¶s frequency. Successive

resonant lengths can be noted when the

tube length represents an odd number of

quarter wavelengths including L=1/4Ȝ,

3/4Ȝ, 5/4Ȝ, and so forth (see Figure 1).

2

Figure 1. Standing waves of L=1/4Ȝ and

L=3/4Ȝ respectively drawn using

Microsoft Paint.

In equation form, L=nȜ/4 when

n=1, 3, 5, 7«, and Ȝ=4L/n. When v=Ȝ· f,

then f =nv/4L when n=1, 3, 5, 7, and so

on.

f =nv/4L n=1, 3, 5, 7,«.. (1)

In other words, the three

parameters that determine the condition

of resonance in an air column include fҏ,

v, and L where fҏ is the frequency or

number of vibrations per minute, v is the

velocity of sound in air in

meters/second, and L is the length of the

column of air in meters.

More wavelength segments fit

into the resonance tube when the length

of an air column increases when the

node-antinode requirements are met. An

observer will experience resonance by

noting an increase in the amplitude of

sound heard when the air column

reaches certain lengths that meet the

aforementioned conditions. The length

of the air column can be manipulated by

either adding or draining water from the

air column. An increase in amplitude

will be heard when the antinode is the

open end of the tube, and no increase in

amplitude will be heard when the node is

at the open end of the resonance tube.

The fundamental frequency or f is noted

by the lowest frequency, while higher

frequencies are termed overtones.

The length for the resonance can be

determined with a resonance that begins at

Ȝ/4 with subsequent increments of Ȝ/2 by the

equation L=

ଶ

n-

ସ

where n= 1 2, 3, and etc.

L=

ଶ

n-

ସ

n= 1 2, 3,« (2)

The equation of a line y=a+bx

(where x represents the independent

variable, the y represents the dependent

variable, and the represents the intercept)

can be used to plot the resonance in a closed

air column. Therefore, the wavelength of a

wave in a resonance tube in a closed air

column can be determined by Ȝ=2·slope.

Ȝ=2·slope (3)

Additionally, when the wavelength

and the frequency of sound are known, the

velocity of sound in air can be determined

by the equation v

ୱ

ൌ ɉ ȉ f.

v

ୱ

=Ȝ·f (4)

The relationship between the speed

of sound and temperature is given by the

equation v

ୱ

ൌ ͵͵ͳǤͶ ͲǤ T

ୡ

v

ୱ

ൌ ͵͵ͳǤͶ

ͲǤ T

ୡ

(where temperature is represented in

degrees Celsius) since the speed of sound in

air is temperature dependent.

v

ୱ

ൌ ͵͵ͳǤͶ ͲǤ T

ୡ

v

ୱ

ൌ ͵͵ͳǤͶ

ͲǤ T

ୡ

(5)

For instance, at room temperature or

T

ୡୀ

ʹͲ ǑC, the speed of sound is 343 m/s or 34,

340 cm/s.

3

L=1/4Ȝ L=3/4Ȝ

EQUIPMENT

The materials of this experiment consisted of a resonant air column; two vertical metal

support rods with metal bases; a tuning for each of the frequencies at 512 Hz, 1024 Hz, and

2048 Hz; a rubber mallet; a room thermometer; a glass reservoir; and tap water.

EXPERIMENTAL PROCEDURE

Setting up the resonance tube

A resonance tube apparatus was set

up according to the diagram in Figure 2 by

securing a resonance tube (with centimeter

division marks) by a clamp to a vertical

metal support rod on one metal base and

attaching a connecting hose from the

resonance tube to a water reservoir can that

was clamped to a second vertical support

rod on a metal base. The room temperature

of the air was determined using a

thermometer and was measured at 20 ºC.

Figure 2. Resonance Apparatus (Resonance,

2011, para. 1).

Finding points of resonance

The glass resonance tube was then

filled with tap water. A 512 Hz tuning fork

was then hit by a rubber mallet in an area

away from the resonance tube, and then the

tuning fork was held approximately one

centimeter above the open end of the air

column. The height of the water column was

then adjusted by decreasing the height of the

water reservoir can. When the height of the

water column was adjusted rapidly,

resonance could be heard when the height of

the water column reached certain levels.

When changing the height of the

water column it was necessary to repeatedly

strike the tuning fork with the mallet in

order to maintain the vibration. It was also

sometimes necessary to pour excess water

into the glass reservoir. The positions of the

water column when the maximum sounds

were heard were labeled as n=1, 2, 3, and so

forth and the height in centimeters were then

recorded in data table 1.

Special attention was paid to avoid

recording relatively faint tones also known

as overtones that relate to frequencies that

are double and quadruple the frequency

being evaluated in the experiment. Those

tones suspected as being overtones were not

recorded. This procedure was repeated for

the 1024 Hz and the 2048 Hz tuning forks.

4

Table 1. Resonance of Tuning Forks at 512 Hz, 1024 Hz, and 2048 Hz with a room

temperature of 20 ºC.

Tuning Fork 1

Frequency

(f)=512 Hz

Tuning Fork 2

Frequency

(f)=1024 Hz

Tuning Fork 3

Frequency

(f)=2048 Hz

Resonance

(n)

Position

(cm)

Resonance

(n)

Position

(cm)

Resonance

(n)

Position

(cm)

1 15 1 7 1 3

2 49 2 24 2 11

3 81 3 41 3 20

4 57 4 28

5 74 5 37

6 91 6 45

7 53

8 62

9 70

10 80

11 87

5

CALCULATIONS

Graphing the data

A graphical anaylsis of the each tuning fork was completed using Excel. The graph of the data

was drawn in order to obtain the slope of the lines and to facilate in the subsequant calculations. A

plot of a graph of length versus the sequential number of the resonant column was created for the

tuning forks at 512 Hz, 1024 Hz, and 2048 Hz. A regression line and slope were determined for each

of the tuning forks at 512 Hz, 1024 Hz, and 2048 Hz (see Figure 3).

Figure 3. Graphical analysis of the air resonance column at 512 Hz, 1024 Hz, and 2048 Hz.

6

Determing wavelength

From the slope of the lines of each

frequency, the wavelength was determined

using the equation Ȝ 2ȉ ݏ݈݁ ሺsee Table ʹሻ.

Worked example:

Ȝ=2·33.00 cm/n

Ȝ=66 cm

Table 2. Determing the wavelength of sound

using the slope of a line.

Frequency

(Hz)

Wavelength

of Sound (cm)

512 Hz Ȝൌ 66 cm

1028 Hz Ȝൌ 33.48 cm

2048 Hz Ȝൌ16.91 cm

Determining the relationship between wave

speed and frequency

The relationship between the speed of a

wave and its frequency was determined using

the wavelength of sound found in Table 2 and

the equation v

ୱ

ൌ ɉ ȉ f (see Table 3).

Worked example:

v

ୱ

ൌ cmȉ ͷͳʹ Bz

v

ୱ

ൌ ͵͵ͻʹ

cm

s

Frequency

(Hz)

Velocity

(cm/s)

512 Hz ͵͵ͻʹ cmȀs

1028 Hz ͵ͶʹͺͶ cmȀs

2048 Hz ͵Ͷ͵ʹ cmȀs

Table 3. Determing the wavelength of sound

using the slope of a line.

Converting from cm/s to m/s

The speed of sound was then convert from

cm/s to m/s with the equation v

ୱ

ୡ୫

ୱ

ȉ ͲǤͲͳ

୫

ୱ

ൌ

v

ୱ

mȀs (see Table 4).

Worked example:

v

ୱ

ൌ ͵͵ͻʹ

cm

s

ȉ ͲǤͲͳ mȀs

v

ୱ

ൌ ͵͵Ǥͻʹ mȀs

Table 4. Converting from cm/s to m/s.

Determinging the speed of sound from room

temperature

The speed of sound was determined using

the temperature found in the room where the

experiment was conducted by the equation

ݒ

௦

ൌ ͵͵ͳǤͶ ͲǤ ܶ

(see worked equation).

Worked equation:

ݒ

௦

ൌ ͵͵ͳǤͶ ͲǤ ȉ20 ºC

ݒ

௦

ൌ ͵Ͷ͵ǤͶ mȀs

Frequency (Hz) Velocity

(m/s)

512 Hz ͵͵Ǥͻʹ

mȀs

1028 Hz ͵ͶʹǤͺͶ

mȀs

2048 Hz ͵ͶǤ͵ʹ

mȀs

7

ANALYSIS

Determining the percent difference of the speed of sound

The percent difference of the speed of sound for each of the experimental values was then

determined using the equation Ψ Biff ൌ

ୣ୶୮ି୩୬୭୵୬

୩୬୭୵୬

ȉ ͳͲͲ (see Table 6).

Worked example:

Ψ Biff ൌ

͵͵Ǥͻʹ mȀs െ͵Ͷ͵ǤͶ mȀs

͵Ͷ͵ǤͶ mȀs

ȉ ͳͲͲ

Ψ Biff ൌ െͳǤͷͻ

Table 6. Determining the percent difference of the speed of sound.

CONCLUSION

It has been shown that by knowing the frequency of a tuning fork and the position of water at

resonance points, the spee of sound can be determined.The speed of sound for the tuning forks at the

frequencies of 512 Hz, 1028 Hz, and 2048 Hz were determined to be 337.92 m/s, 342.84 m/s, and

346.32 m/s at room temperature.

The speed of sound was determined to be within less than five percent error compared to the

known speed of sound at room temperature of 343.4 m/s. The percent difference was greatest for the

frequencies of 512 and 2048 Hz and lowest for the frequency at 1028 Hz. The percent difference

range from negative percent differences to positive percent differences going from the lowest to

highest tested frequencies repectively.

Sources of error for this experiement may consist of mistaking overtones as resonance and

therefore including overtones in the data. Another source of error could include missing points of

resonance and therefore not including resonance points into the data. Furthermore, the length of the

air column could have been incurrectly interpreted when holding the tuning fork above the air

column and adjusting the the length of the air column.

Frequency

(Hz)

Ψ Biff

512 Hz െͳǤͷͻ

1028 Hz െͲǤͳ͵

2048 Hz +ͲǤͺͷͲ

8

QUESTIONS

1. What is the most likely source of error in each experiment if the tuning forks and electronic tuning

fork are accurate to within 0.5%?

The most likely source of error would be to misidentify overtones as points of resonance.

2. Is there any indication that the velocity of sound depends on its wavelength? Explain.

The velocity of sound is mathematically related to the wavelenth in the equation ݒ

௦

ൌ ߣ ȉ ݂. In this

experiment, the percent difference was negative for the lower frequency trialed and positive for the

higher frequency trialed.Therefore, there were minimal differences in the speed of sound found using

a range of frequencies. Usually, however, the medium by which the sound travels determines the

velocity of sound, and the wavelength of sound determines pitch.

3. The adult male larynx is quite a bit larger than that of the female larynx. What are the acoustical

consequences of that?

The human larynx produces changes in pitch and tone of vocalizations by adjusting the length and

tension of the vocal folds. The larger male larynx produces a lower pitch or apparent frequency, and

a smaller female larynx produces a higher pitch or apparent frequency. Pitch can be manipulated in

other objects by adjusting the tension of a string.

4. In a guitar, how would the pitch vary as µ changes? What about F?

By tightening a guitar string, the pitch and frequency increase, Likewise, by loosening a guitar

string, the pitch and frequency decrease.

REFERENCES

Resonance. (2011). Retrieved March 25, 2011, from http://www.enasco.com/

product/SB16555M#

Spalding, Roger. (2010). General Physics Laboratory Book. Monroe County Community

College.

The Physics of Sound. (nd). Retrieved March 17, 2011, from homepages.wmich.edu/~hi

llenbr/206/ac

Water Resonance Experiment (nd). Retrieved March 18, 2011, from http://hyperphysics.phy-

astr.gsu.edu/hbase/waves/clocol2.html.doc

9

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