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IB Physics Practical - Stubbiephone Wind Band

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Physics IB Physics Practical Assessment Skill 1: Planning (Part A and Part B) Stubbiephone Wind Band The music department of a school is in need of an instrument that covers a range of one octave (eight notes). Such an instrument, however, cannot be purchased due to the shrinking budget of the department and a hand made alternative needs to be produced. It has been decided that the instrument will be made up of eight short and fat beer bottles because beer bottles are cheap and readily available. This report contains a plan for an experiment to investigate how these bottles can be made to produce the eight notes required to form an octave. PART ONE - PREDICTION The shape of a beer bottle can be compared to that of a closed pipe, with one end of the bottle open, the mouth, and the other end closed. When we blow over the mouth of a beer bottle, a sound is produced. It is known that sound travels through a closed pipe in the form of a standing wave, with the node at the closed end (bottom of the bottle) and the anti node near the opening of the bottle as in figure one(a). The length of the standing wave in a bottle is equivalent to the actual length of the bottle. Therefore, to vary the length of the standing wave will require the length of the bottle to be changed. ...read more.


For frequency to be of a high value, the length of the standing wave must be of a small value. Based on this assumption, it can be predicted that as the length of the standing wave is of a large value (i.e. bottle not filled with water) a note of a low frequency will be created. Vice versa, if the length of the standing wave was of a small value (i.e. bottle filled with a lot of water) a note of a high frequency will be generated. PART TWO - INVESTIGTING THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE LENGTH OF A STANDING WAVE AND THE FREQUENCY The following equipment will be required for this experiment: Apparatus Usage Beer Bottles The bottles will be used to produce a sound for this experiment. A sound can be created by blowing gently over the top of the mouth of the bottle (Note that the bottle should be of a cylindrical shape so as the sound waves inside the bottle will behave like a standing wave in a closed tube) Water Water will be poured into the beer bottle to vary the length of the standing wave Measuring Cylinders Used to measure the amount of water poured into the beer bottle Microphone The microphone will be connected to the computer. It's purpose is to record the sounds produced by the beer bottle Computer Allows the use of computer software to record and analyze sound data obtained. ...read more.


By comparing the formula f = (v/4)(1/L) to y = mx + c we can see that: y = f x = (1/L) Analyze the results by plotting a graph of frequency (f) against length (1/L) and drawing a line of best fit (trendline). (note: the trendline of the graph will tend not to go through the origin. Instead, the trendline will most likely cut the x-axis (length). This is due to the fact that the antinodes of the standing wave, formed in the beer bottle, is actually located outside the bottle and not at the mouth of the bottle - see below) Remember to choose a sensible scale to plot the graph, label axis with units and use a sharp pencil to plot each unit as a small cross or as a small dot plus a circle. PART THREE - HOW TO PRODUCE THE STUBBIEPHONE If the prediction made previously was true, then the trendline of the graph mentioned above should be a straight line sloping upwards from left to right, showing that frequency is inversely proportional to the length of the standing wave. This, therefore, means that the formula fn = n(V/4L) is true. Producing the stubbiephone will, therefore, be a matter of looking up the frequency values for notes in books and using the formula to workout the length of the bottle that is required to produce the note. Jeffrey Leung, HL Physics Coursework, 11th of December 2001 ...read more.

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