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Frequency and the Speed of sSound

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Frequency, Pipes and the Speed of Sound

Jeff Leeson

I. Design

a) Research Question

What is the relationship between frequency and the speed of sound in air?

b) Hypothesis

Given the accepted value for the speed of sound in air being 343 m/s, I think that this will prove true no matter what frequency the sound is.

c) Variables

  • Independent Variable: Frequency (f) of sound produced
  • Dependent Variable: Length (L) of pipe

d) Materials

1. Plastic Tube

2. Rubber Stopper

3. Tuner (Some tuners may not have set frequencies, tuning forks will do)

4. Sound Wave Sensor/Mic

5. Scissors

6. Meter stick

e) Procedure


  1. Hold the tuner vertically to the cylinder.
  2. Turn on tuner and set frequency to 512Hz.  Hold it horizontally
...read more.


Repeat steps 1-4 with frequencies of 480, 425, 340, 320 and 256Hz.Record the data.

g) Procedure for Controlling Variables

  • Perform each trial at the same temperature
  • Hold tuner in the same constant, non-moving position for each trial
  • Hold the mic the same distance away from the tube for each trial

II.Data Collection

Diameter of the tube = 0.025m ± 0.005m


Uncertainty in Frequency = ±1%

...read more.


V. Conclusion

In this lab, we were able to approximate the velocity of sound waves in air at a given temperature.

This was done quite modestly with the use of a simple tube and tuner. At resonance, the amplitude of vibration at the open end of the tube increases to a maximum. Taking advantage of the linear relationship between the length (L) of the air column and the reciprocal of the frequency of the tuning fork (1/f) to determine the slope of the graph thus obtained. It was then possible to determine the speed of sound, because the slope equaled nothing but (v/4), where (v) is the velocity of sound. Thus the speed of sound was verified

...read more.

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