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Homework Help: How do I tell what harmonic an instrument is producing?

  1. May 28, 2015 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    An instrument is producing a tone, such as a D4. If I know the frequency of the tone, the length of the instrument but nothing else, how can I find the harmonic at which the tone is produced? The instrument is an open tube.

    2. Relevant equations


    3. The attempt at a solution
    The point of the overall problem is to calculate the speed of sound using the length and frequency, but I don't know what equation to use to find the velocity since the harmonic number is not given.
  2. jcsd
  3. May 28, 2015 #2


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    L=n*wavelength/2 is OK for a tube open at both ends. Is that what you have at hand ?
    If they don't tell you (and you do need it), assume it's the base frequency.
    (And if v comes out weird, you can still try a higher resonance)
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