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My aim of this experiment is to recognize which material is the greatest sound insulator along with reasoning.

Extracts from this document...


A LEVEL PHYSICS COURSEWORK In this physics coursework, I have been asked to carry out a practical of my selection and to develop it. I have chosen to investigate insulation of sound, and I would conduct this by adding a variety of materials and by adding three layers of insulation inserted within a cardboard box. I would determine which material is the finest sound insulator by means of a decibel meter. I want to investigate sound insulation, by placing a CD player into a cardboard box along with different materials, one by one, adding the layers on and detecting the sound through a decibel meter. PLAN: Aim: My aim of this experiment is to recognize which material is the greatest sound insulator along with reasoning. I will accomplish this by investigating the sound level through the addition of a range of materials enclosed into a cardboard box and then measuring the level of sound produced. Method: I had firstly planned to measure the level of sound produced with the addition of the materials I will use. Therefore I will be able to attain the level of sound, from the different materials I insert into the cardboard box, and therefore predict and evaluate the best insulating material. Here is how I thought of achieving this, Firstly I will gather my apparatus which are required to conduct this experiment. These include a range of four insulation materials, and equipment such as, a four sided cardboard box, cellotape, scissors, CD player and a decibel meter. Additionally, I will construct the cardboard box so that it is air tight, by carefully placing the cellotape on the joins to make sure no sound can escape. Further I will need to take a reading of the CD player present in the cardboard box without any insulation so I have an initial reading. I will place the CD player into the box and I would activate the CD player by the remote on a set volume which would be kept constant throughout this experiment. ...read more.


The above table illustrates my average results produced from the three results tables I had achieved. The average results table was used to give me more accurate results as the results extracted from the three tables are averaged out so that I achieve an average figure for each of the layers of each material. After completing my experiment in my preliminary results I had realised that my results were not very accurate as I noticed that the frequency of the CD player radio was not constant, and this is evident through my results as they fluctuate in the case of the addition of layers of insulation, however from my scientific knowledge I am aware as the layers added are increased, the sound level measured should decrease as more sound is being insulated. I consider that a simple explanation can be derived from the preliminary results, which shows that as I had added an insulating material, once fitting this onto the cardboard box, the frequency of the CD player radio would have either increased and therefore changed, and this is when I may have measured this, and therefore my results extracted from this method are not reliable. However, I had used my preliminary results as a method to carry out before carrying out my actual experiment so if there were any problems I may incur I would not make the same mistake in the actual experiment procedure. When carrying out this experiment I had decided that an average was not needed to be taken as when I had placed the decibel meter 10cm away from the cardboard box I had realised that when using the decibel meter, the amplitude of sound detected does not tend to fluctuate by far, as the sound produced is detected after a few seconds the decibel meter produces the overall value for the sound detected. This is why in the results table there is only one reading shown for each of the layers I had added. ...read more.


I deem that another limitation of the experimental procedure is that I could not have placed the decibel meter precisely 10cm away from the cardboard box every time, as the precision needed would be extremely high to do this, and as I carried this experiment out by myself this would be hard to achieve great precision this is why I carried the whole experiment out three times. From this experiment I can conclude that I had achieved minimal uncertainties as I had only achieved one uncertainty which I perceive was due to human error. I believe that my results were extremely reliable as I had carried out my experiment three times then producing an average which I had plotted on the graph, however I found that I did not plot many points, but there was a general trend which is easily noticed, as the number of layers increases, the amount of sound detected deceases. The fact that I did not have many points scattered on the graph does not make it inaccurate as I consider they should the general trend extremely obviously. The uncertainty within the data is all due to human error, and this is strongly reflected in my results table which illustrates this. The fact that I may not have inserted the second layer properly or read the decibel reader incorrectly may all be possible why I had received an anomalous result. Overall I consider that my experiment had gone according to plan with the aid of the preliminary results, as I believe this helped me carry out my experiment correctly as I encountered problems in my preliminary such as using the CD player radio which did not produce a constant frequency therefore in my actual experiment I had used a sound generator and a loud speaker. If I were to improve this experiment I would probably investigate a wider range of materials, including lead, metals and wood as I deem that this would give me a wider source of material to observe and see how well each behaves when insulating sound. ...read more.

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