I'm having MASSIVE confusion about harmonics and overtones of stopped pipes

  • #1
I feel like the various members of the world of physics don't agree upon what the values of n, harmonics, and overtones line up for STOPPED pipes where f n = nv / 4L

According to my physics text book (University Physics Young and Freedman),

for stopped pipes, 3rd harmonic = n is 3 = second overtone.

HOWEVER, I got a question wrong on my second exam in General Physics because I believe my professor is one of those part of the confusion.

I copied and pasted the following from the exam solution:

QUESTION:The second harmonic (the second fundamental frequency) of a stopped (closed at one end) organ pipe is 172 Hz, the speed of sound is 344 m/s. How long is the pipe?

ANSWER GIVEN BY PROFESSOR:
The first harmonic corresponds to L = (wavelength) / 4, the second one to L = (3*wavelength) / 4

When I was doing this problem, I was immediately confused because the question asks for the SECOND harmonic of a STOPPED pipe. According to what I understand, there IS no second harmonic and n goes straight from n = 1 to n = 3.

Can some one please explain what is meant by second harmonic for a stopped pipe. Did my teacher screw up?
 
Last edited:

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