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ARTICLE

Measuring sound

Sound is a pressure wave caused when something vibrates, making particles bump into each other and then apart. The particles vibrate back and forth in the direction that the wave travels but do ...

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ARTICLE

Sound on the move

Sound is a pressure wave, but this wave behaves slightly differently through air as compared to water. Water is denser than air, so it takes more energy to generate a wave, but once a wave has ...

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ARTICLE

Measuring instruments

Collecting data is a crucial part of scientific inquiry. To study waves and the ocean sea level, scientists usually gather data through the use of instruments. They collect information about the ...

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ARTICLE

Hearing sound

Three components are needed for sound to be heard: A source – where the sound is made. A medium – something for the sound to travel through. A receiver – something to detect the sound. Source ...

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ARTICLE

Crabs finding home

If someone dropped you off several kilometres from your house, how would you know where you are and how would you find your way home? Chances are you would use visual clues – streets, buildings ...

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ARTICLE

Hearing

Hearing is the ability to detect sound. Human hearing The most obvious part of the human auditory system is the ear. This large protuberance on the outside of the head is just one part of a ...

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ACTIVITY

Sound on an oscilloscope

In this activity, students play different kinds of sounds near a computer’s microphone and watch the resulting visual display created by oscilloscope software. By the end of this activity ...

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ARTICLE

Noisy kina

Kina are a particular species of sea urchin endemic to New Zealand. Most of us can identify a kina shell found on a beach as a mottled green globe (sometimes intact) with a hole in the base. When ...

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ARTICLE

Ultrasound

Ultrasound is a medical imaging technique that uses high frequency sound waves and their echoes. The sound waves are above human hearing, and the echoes from the sound waves bouncing off tissue ...

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ARTICLE

Studying sound under water

We know that sound behaves quite differently under water, moving faster and further, but how well can we predict what sound will do under water based on the information that we have? Dr Craig ...

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ACTIVITY

Sound detectives

In this activity, students take part in a class experiment to locate sounds when blindfolded. By the end of this activity, students should be able to: design a sound location experiment and ...

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ACTIVITY

Make and use a hydrophone

In this activity, students make a hydrophone and use it to listen to underwater sounds. By the end of this activity, students should be able to: understand how to modify an electret microphone to ...

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ACTIVITY

Creating soundscapes

in this activity, a class or group of students create several soundscapes to gain a greater appreciation of how background sound differs from one geographical setting to another. By the end of ...

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ARTICLE

New Zealand reef noise

The reefs of New Zealand are noisy places, not the silent world that many of us imagine. The animals that live on reefs, such as shrimp, kina and fish, all have their distinctive sounds, and this ...

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ARTICLE

Science project measures noise levels

Jamie Fenton, a 17-year-old from Taranaki, has invented a traffic light device to help prevent preschoolers going deaf at childcare centres. The noise level meter is now being produced ...

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ACTIVITY

Modelling waves with slinkies

In this activity, students model how sound travels by sending waves along two stretched plastic slinkies tied together. By the end of this activity, students should be able to: understand that ...

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ACTIVITY

Hearing sounds under water

In this activity, students listen to sounds made in a swimming pool while being under water themselves. By the end of this activity, students should be able to: recognise how difficult it is to ...

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ARTICLE

Nigel Latta Blows Stuff Up Episode 7: Sound

Nigel wants to break the sound barrier – and of course, he breaks a few other things along the way. He also uses some clever models – one of which involves 150 school students with flags – to ...

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