Advanced Physics

SOUND topics….at your pace, but check in with me as you go

1) what is sound?  lesson 1 a,b & c

(though all the lessons will come in handy eventually)

I have some tuning forks to work with (DO NOT hit on table, hit on shoe, palm, head…) touch a cup of water, touch your ear lobe, touch your earring, slowly turn it when next to ear.

tuning fork video : sloMO  strobe

why cant they hear you in space?   GoPro in space 

(key vocab terms : energy, medium, mechanical, pressure, longitudinal, transverse, propagation, compressions, rarefactions, parallel, why sine representation is “misleading”)

2) speed of sound? in water? Can you hear through/in metal?

what affects the speed of sound? 

There are different ways to measure the speed of sound in air--

find one & do the experiment…..

activity 1 in 

a video of someone doing a lab (really good explanation) 

or outdoors way 

(some key ideas…..nodes & antinodes and ¼ wavelengths…..

instead of a tuning fork there are apps that generate tones

3) what frequencies do humans hear? other animals? any animals better/worse?

use a tone generator app (iPad function generator  or web based and play some tones to find what you hear (find your hearing range)

(there are 2 flaws...can the soundcard produce all sounds & can the speaker/headphones reproduce all sounds)

Do you hear all frequencies at equal loudness (or did you have to turn up the volume for some)????

what happens when you listen to 2 different frequencies that are 1 Hz apart? 5 Hz? 50 Hz? (need two windows if using online or 2 devices if using app)

(key terms : frequency, beats, hertz)

4) What is the difference between music & noise?

music & culture 

What frequencies is music?

be sure to look at the legend to know what the colors mean


How do the “fundamentals” of instruments compare to what we hear?

Boomwhacker ….. music??

instruments??? intstruments???

create your own song…..soundtrap or sonic pi (only works on mac/pc/RasPi )

form a band

make instruments

make a song

5) what are those things called fundamentals? harmonics? 

now would be a good time for us to draw what is vibrating & how to make the music in various instruments

Calculate the fundamental frequency of 2 different instruments (1 wind & 1 string) (pan pipe and guitar)(pick speed of wave in guitar string between 400 & 600 m/s

6)  What frequencies are singers?

what is the largest vocal range a singer has? male & female 

Lowest note? highest note?

What frequency is your voice? (there has to be an app for that)

7)What is an octave? 

how many steps in between?

8) Can silence drive you crazy 

How about you?

9) How loud is??? How loud is too loud? what is a logarithm? 


Hearing loss….is it happening to you? 

and the video after it “How Does Loud Music Damage Our Hearing?”

There are loudness meters to work with. Determine how loud you are.

How loud are birds when they fly??

10) can you Build an electric “guitar”???? (supplies in the room) 

11) How do speakers work? second look….third...

shop for some, what specs to look for?????  pick a couple from somewhere & compare (amazon, BestBuy….)

build some 

what is a woofer? tweeter? subwoofer? 2 way speaker? 3 way speaker?

12) vinyl vs mp3 

or what are the differences between the music formats (AAC, WAV, AIFF, mp3, ogg….


(yes 19 min podcast)

how do we recognize an instrument?

did you hear the banjo with both clips?

what is the envelope?

how many instruments for twice as loud?

444 vs 440??? who when why?

what is the wobble called?

what is perfect pitch?

drinking straw oboe?


speaking of perfect pitch... 

how do notes feel to you???

did you remember the first note?

good info...the equation of pure tone….Oscilloscope for voices & instruments, description of timbre….audio spectrum graphs (you can stop at noise)