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Investigate and construct a sensor.

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Introduction

AS LEVEL PHYSICS SENSING COURSEWORK In this physics coursework, I have been asked to investigate and construct a sensor. I have chosen to examine sound and to develop and make a sensor, which would detect how loud specific rooms in the school, may be by the noise, which would be produced by a stereo system. I would create this sensor and compare my readings, which are produced, with the actual sensor used to detect how loud sound is. I would use this decibel meter and see how accurate my sensor is. PLAN: Aim: My aim of this experiment is to see how precise my sensor is compared to the real sensor that is the decibel meter. I would evaluate my sensor and compare the two sensors against each other using my results obtained. Method: I had firstly planned to measure sound in different rooms in the school, by making the actual sound sensor. I had made this sensor by using a microphone, power pack, crocodile clips, ammeter and Voltmeter. I had connected this circuit up in series and then additionally added the microphone into the circuit. However when switching the power pack on, I found that there was a reading given by the voltmeter and not the ammeter. Therefore, I had thought about my experiment and realised that I needed to use a sound generator, loudspeaker and I needed to use the Oscilloscope. The previous attempt would not have worked as I recognized that I needed a loudspeaker, which would produce the different frequency of sound, and using the oscilloscope, I had connected the microphone up to this by crocodile clips and then placed the microphone near the loudspeaker so I could calibrate this sensor against the decibel meter. After doing this, I had taken my sensor to different rooms in the school and measured the sound by a stereo, which produced the sound. ...read more.

Middle

I had done this by using my crocodile clips and connecting this to the microphone, and then I connected this to the oscilloscope. I spoke into the microphone and checked that this had recorded as sound waves into the oscilloscope. Additionally, I had checked the accuracy of my decibel meter as I had made a series of sounds I checked the decibels were reading high and low. I had applied these same methods to my microphone. I would carry out a range of experiments as when measuring the sounds in different rooms in the school with the microphone attached to the oscilloscope and the decibel meter I would take three reading for the voltage and three readings for the decibel meter. Therefore, from this I would have three readings showing the voltage and decibels in each room in the school. From this I would be able to calculate accurate results from an average. I had realised I may overcome some problems while conducting the experiments like the temperature variation in the room and the dust. To overcome the problems I had made sure carried out this experiment in the same room and that the temperature was at the standard room temperature. The temperature could affect my results in the slight way as this would not be a fair test and the humidity can alter the wavelength of the sound, as the molecule vibrations would be effected by the heat. Also the dust, which can affect the wavelength and frequency. These would both affect my results. OBSERVATIONS: I had obtained results from the calibration, this is where I had calibrated my made sensor against the decibel meter. I had recorded the voltage of my sensor through the oscilloscope against the decibels given from the decibel meter through different sound frequencies. I also obtained results from my preliminary, which I carried out this experiment as a practice test, to see whether everything had gone accordingly to plan. ...read more.

Conclusion

have a very high resolution as it detects sound changes far more easily and accurately by the great components which are used. This indicates that when music is played my designed sensor would be able to detect the change in the quietness and the sound waves produced by the music, which is played and detected. In addition, my sensor I had designed is quite sensitive but it is not needed to make it less sensitive when it detects the sound, the sensor I had designed is sensitive enough to detect sound from a average distance. This quality I believe is what makes it a good sensor system as it is sensitive enough to detect the sound without no alterations needed, and also it has a high resolution and is accurate enough to give a sensible realistic reading. The response time in my sensor was very short, so that if I had changed the sound instantly this would appear up on the voltmeter, as the crystal microphone is a very good sensor of sound and this would instantly be shown up on the voltmeter when there is a rapid change. The data from this sensor system must be processed, often with appropriate averaging and however this does not have to be displayed to show an effective picture. I believe that I could have improved this experiment by carrying out more research to how I could have improved my sensor by making it more accurate. In addition, I also deem that I could have also used better equipment, as this would have improved my results, as they would be more accurate as when I used the crocodile clips I noticed the resistance would have varied and this would have affected my results. Overall, I believe that my sensor was accurate compared to the decibel meter, as I found that in the given time I was allowed I had built a sound sensor which proved to being accurate and easy to use jus like the decibel meter. ...read more.

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