In this investigation, students measure distance and time in order to calculate the speed of a sound wave.
The investigation supports the science capability ‘Gather and interpret data’. It also provides a real-world context in which to practise mathematical skills.
By the end of this investigation, students should be able to:
- calculate the speed of sound
- explain why we see a lightning bolt before we hear the thunder.
Equipment required includes:
- sound-making device (wooden clapper)
- device with timing software app
- tape measure
- an outdoor space of at least 150 metres with a building at one end.
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 the accompanying investigation:
Learn more about sound with these articles: