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Physics in concert

Objectives
To understand how engineers use physics to set up a concert

Sound

Electricity

Lighting

Sound
A sound-system increases the volume of the sound.

Speaker
Amplifier
Microphone

Mixing desk

Sound-system
A microphone is used to turn the sound wave from the
music on the stage into an electronic signal.

Sound-system
The electronic signal is sent via a mixing desk to the
amplifier, which boosts the signal.

Sound-system
The signal is turned back in to a (louder) sound by the
speakers.

Ear

Sound-pitch
Different musical instruments have different pitches.

High pitch

Low pitch

Sound-pitch
High pitch sounds have a higher frequency
High pitch

Low pitch

Q1
Q1

Signals for three different sound waves are shown below.


(i) which signal is from the loudest sound?
(ii) which signal is from the highest pitch sound?

Sound levels

Sound levels are measured in decibels (dB)


Safe noise exposure
Hours

Sound Level (dB)

85

90

100

1/4

110

120

120 dB or above can lead to instant hearing damage

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Sound-speed
Sound travels to the audience at a speed of 330 m/s
Speed = distance time

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Sound at a concert
Q2

The speed of sound is 330 m/s. How long it takes


sound to travel 40 m?

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Lighting at a concert
Red, green and blue are used for stage lighting.

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Lighting at a concert
Other colour effects can be produced by mixing these
three lights.
Yellow
Green
Red

Cyan

Magenta
Blue

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Lighting at a concert
The colour an object appears depends on the colours it
absorbs or reflects.

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Lighting at a concert
The colour an object appears depends on the colours it
absorbs or reflects.

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Lighting at a concert
Q3

An artist on stage wears a red T-shirt with a yellow star motif,


and blue trousers.
Complete the table showing how his costume appears under
different colour lighting.

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Lighting at a concert

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Lighting at a concert

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Lighting at a concert

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Lighting at a concert

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Lighting at a concert

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Lighting at a concert

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Review: Colour mixing

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Making electricity
The electricity for outdoor concerts needs to be produced
on-site using a generator.

Generator

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Supplying electricity
Thick cables are used to carry large electrical currents to
the sound and lighting systems.
Electrical
cables

Plug-in points for sound


or lighting equipment

Generator

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Electrical current
The larger the current, the thicker the cable needed.
The current in the cables can be calculated using the
relationship

current = power voltage

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Electrical current
Q4

A lamp with a power rating of 100 W. Calculate the


current that flows when it is connected to a 240 V
supply.

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Electrical circuits

The lighting and sound systems are connected in parallel to the


generators
Generator

Lamp 1

Lamp 2

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Electrical circuits
Q5

Explain the difference between a series and parallel


circuit

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Engineers at a concert

Sound Engineer

Electrical Engineer

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Lighting Engineer

Choose an artist
Each person in your team will take on a different role
But first you must choose the artist or group you will
represent

2 minutes

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Select your role by looking at the key skills:

Creative
Analytical
Visual

Analytical
Using diagrams
Numerical

Spatially aware
Analytical
Numerical

2 minutes

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Your role:

1
Lighting
engineer

2
Electrical
engineer

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3
Sound
engineer

Practice your skills


Complete the practice your skills worksheet that goes
with your role

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Planning a concert
You will need to complete the task and poster sheet that
goes with your role

Sound Engineer

Electrical Engineer

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Lighting Engineer

Artist requests
Check the card to see what your artist has requested.
Sound Level
Performance
area

Satellite speaker
distance

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Sound engineers

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Lighting engineers

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Electrical engineers

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