Speed Of Sound Essay

719 words - 3 pages

Speed of Sound
Lab 11



The speed of sound will be measured in this experiment using the advances in technology to determine the speed of sound t room temperature. A microphone will be placed next to an opening of a hollow tube. The snapping sound made by a dog clicker will be recorded via the Microphone, which will then graph the initial sound and the echo. The speed of sound will be determine the round trip time and calculate the speed of sound.


The speed of sound will be measured in a long hollow tube to see how long it takes sound to travel down and back in a long tube. Then, compare the speed of sound in air to the accepted value.


Begin by connecting the Vernier Microphone to Channel 1 of the interface. Use a thermometer or temperature probe to measure the air temperature of the classroom and record the value in the data table. Then, open the file “33 Speed of Sound” in the Physics with Vernier folder. Set ...view middle of the document...

The second set of vibrations with appreciable amplitude marks the echo. Click the examine button and move the mouse and determine the time interval between the start of the first vibration and the start of the echo vibration. Record the time interval in the data table. Repeat the measurement for a total of five trials and determine the average time interval.

Length of Tube 1 m
Temperature of Room 21.5 (Degrees Celsius)

Trial Total Travel Time (s) Total Travel Time (s)
1 .00579 .00575
2 .00583 .00575
3 .00577 .00531
4 .00587 .00527
5 .00587 .00577
Average .005826 .00557

Speed m/s
343.29 718.13

Data Analysis
1) V (experiment 1) = 2L/t = 343.29

2) V (experiment 2) = 4L/t = 718.13

3) V (theoretical) = 331 +0.67 * (T degrees Celsius) = 331 + 0.67 * (21.5) = 345.41
4) percent error = (average experimental value) / Theoretical
= [(343.29 – 345.41)/345.41] * 100= 0.61%

In our data, we found that the frequency of the wave decreases, the wavelength increases, which demonstrates the inverse relationship. The frequency is how fast the wavelength crest and trough is reaching you. If there is a low frequency, the wavelength crest and trough have taken longer to reach you. The pattern confirms that as frequency increases, the wavelength gets shorter, and vice versa. In our data, the speed of sound was 343.29 m/s, which is close to the theoretical value. The percent error (4) in the experiment was due to the different temperature around the room, surrounding noise from other clickers and where the clicker was placed relative to the tube. Improvements on the equipment, such as the tube, could be improved to get accurate results. If it isn’t cut straight or placed properly on the floor to close one end the results of the echo will vary. Improperly setting the computer to get the data will make the average also vary.
In the experiment, the data obtained met our objectives and predictions. The objective to measure the speed of sound was accurate. Our value of 343.29 m/s was close to the theoretical value figured, for the temperature of the room, 345.41 m/s. In comparing the experimental speed of sound to the theoretical value the percent error was derived to be 0.61 %. This is an acceptable value and the objective of the lab was achieved.

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