Seeing the Speed of Sound
December 01, 2003 Filed in: Demo Corner
Diana Hall, Bell High School, Nepean, Ontario
This demonstration allows students to get an idea for how slow sound actually travels. I take students outside and have them line up about 1 m apart. They should have their eyes closed. A bicycle horn is sounded at one end of the line. When each student hears the sound, he.she should raise their arms and then drop them again. A video camera can capture the motion of the sound wave down the line of students so that they can view it back in the classroom.
Column Editor: Ernie McFarland, Physics Department, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1