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Physics Essay

Simon Brown 12a

Sound waves may be described in terms of frequencies and amplitudes. Write an essay describing how a person relates these physical quantities to : • A sound produced by a musical instrument. • The noise produced by a pneumatic drill. • minimum 800 - maximum 1000 To start this essay I will define the physics involved, by determining what is meant by the terms frequency and amplitude. I shall start by defining the term frequency. The frequency f of any periodic motion is the number of oscillations per unit time. Therefore the time for one cycle is 1/f . In the SI unit scale the frequency of a wave is measured in hertz (Hz). 1 Hz is 1 cycle per second. I shall now define the term amplitude. Amplitude is the magnitude of the maximum value of displacement (It is the height between a peak or trough from the normal). Amplitude is a scalar. The amplitude of a sound wave affects the volume that is heard, the higher the amplitude the higher the volume and the lower the amplitude the lower the volume. The frequency of a wave affects the pitch of a sound, the higher the frequency the higher the pitch. Another variable that affects the sound, is the means by which the sound is carried to a persons ear; through a solid or through the air. The medium through which the waves are transmitted is also relevant (where the oscillatory movement takes place). No sound will be produced if their is no room for movement in the transmitting material. Now I have explained how sound is generally produced, I shall “describe how a person relates these physical quantities to a sound produced by a musical instrument.” I shall use a guitar for my instrument. If a guitar string is played, a sound is produced. The sound will be different if the string is plucked as to when it is bowed, this is because the sounds will be heard at different times after they are played although it is only an increment of milliseconds. The string makes the audible sound, but the guitar body amplifies the sound by resonating in sympathy with the movement of the string. To increase the volume of the sound the string must be played using more power because the peak or the trough must be of a greater distance from the normal than before. If you want to decrease the volume then the string must be played softer to make a reduction in the amplitude, because the string will start off nearer to the normal. The frequency of the wave to form a note can be altered by the tension of the string, the mass per unit length of the string and also the length of the string. If the string is reasonably tight then the frequency is high and when the string is less taught the frequency is lower, because the string has less room to move so goes faster along the string when it is taught ,and the amplitude is less and the exact opposite happens for the less taught string. When the length of the string is changed, let’s say shortened then the frequency will increase because the string must always start and finish with a node so the wave is more frequent to fit it in. When the mass of a string is increased then when the same force is put in it is harder to make the string oscillate, therefore the frequency is reduced. Sound waves travel using longitudinal (compression) waves, by the sound starting off at the source and then vibrating molecules next to it and causing a chain reaction with

The noise produced will usually be loud by anyone’s standards. The sound from a guitar mainly travels through the air.END ---- . The sound waves from a pneumatic drill can be heard quicker than a guitar because the waves from a pneumatic drill are transmitted through the ground as the drill is in direct contact with the ground. The sounds are then transmitted to the oval window and then enters your cochlea and is converted into electrical pulses which your brain can recognise as sounds. but the amplitude will change depending on how hard the drill is hitting the surface of the material and depending on the density of the given material. because the amplitude will be greater. ---. When a sound is produced it is transmitted mainly through the air When there is no compression. The sound that is transmitted through the air will also be heard. The harder the drill hits the surface then the louder the sound will be. The compression and stretching is the frequency and the amplitude is the volume. The frequency will be higher if the surface it is hitting does not oscillate much and the amplitude will be lower. This combination of compression’s. stretching or amplitude then no sound can be heard. so it is nearer to the next adjacent molecule. and probably with an unnoticeable delay. because of the force needed to break up roads makes a big amplitude. For example if the pneumatic drill was hitting concrete the pitch would be higher than if it were hitting tarmac.the molecules next to that and so on. until the sound reaches the person who is listening. I will now explain how the ear can interpret these sounds. The frequency of the drill sound will also depend on the density of the material. stretching’s and amplitudes is collected by the cone of your outer ear and makes your ear drum vibrate which triggers the ear ossicles. The sound can be heard quicker because the molecules are more tightly packed in a solid. I shall now describe how a person relates amplitude and frequency to the noise produced by a pneumatic drill.