In this investigation, students use simple equipment to measure the wavelength of sound waves and calculate the speed of sound.
The investigation supports the science capability ‘Gather and interpret data’, providing a real-world context in which to practise mathematical skills. It also allows an opportunity to use the science capability ‘Interpret representations’ to visualise the sound waves resonating in the tubes.
By the end of this investigation, students should be able to:
- describe a standing wave
- use measurements in a formula to calculate the speed of sound.
- Sound-generating device (tuning forks or smartphone tone generation app)
- Length of plastic or metal pipe (minimum length 300 mm)
- Water bath
Download the Word file (see link below).
This article is part of an article series:
- Sound – understanding standing waves
- Sound – visualising sound waves
- Sound – resonance
- Sound – wave interference
- Sound – beats, the Doppler effect and sonic booms
with accompanying investigations:
Visit the sound topic for additional resources.