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Homework Help: Sound Mill

  1. May 16, 2005 #1
    *please move if in wrong forum*

    Im taking the IB at a school in New York and every 11th grader has to do a project called Einstein on the Beach. It involves creating your own project and doing it on the beach that the school will travel to on a day trip. Im trying to come up with a good project and I was wondering. Is it possible to create some sort of 'sound mill'? Sort of like a water mill, just that it reacts to sound waves? I was thinking maybe it would work if one could polarize them, but then i realized that they are longitudinal, not transverse. Is there possibilities in this project?

  2. jcsd
  3. May 16, 2005 #2


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    Since sound consists of pressure waves, it can certainly be harnessed to do work. That, after all, is what a microphone does. If you specifically mean to have some kind of vanes or paddles that turn because of it, I think that you and all of your classmates would be deafened long before the sound reached a high enough level to move anything like that. You can maximize whatever effect you do get by funnelling the sound as with the 'horn' on the original mechanical recording devices.
  4. May 16, 2005 #3
    So basically there's no way i could arrange this without ending up deaf and with bleeding ears..? Couldn't there be some way to isolate the sounds waves?
  5. May 16, 2005 #4
    You could take a boombox and an automatic wristwatch that has stopped, place the watch over the speakers and rock out till the watch starts?
  6. May 16, 2005 #5


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    Speaking of mills

    Since you'll be on the beach anyway.. How about an experiment with a light mill ? :rolleyes: (http://www.globalwarmingsolutions.co.uk/crooks_radiometer_and_otheoscope.htm [Broken])

    I've always been fascinated putting one of these in sunshine and watching the paddle spin at full tilt. Hmmmm I wonder if we can measure the efficiency of energy conversion, from solar to mechanical, for one of these.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
  7. May 17, 2005 #6


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    So how does it work? Wikipedia doesn't say anything about it.
  8. May 17, 2005 #7


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    If you're referring to Crooke's Radiometer I mentioned, look at explanations 3 and 4 at the following link http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/encyclopedia/C/Cr/Crookes_radiometer.htm [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
  9. May 17, 2005 #8
    Wow, the light mill sounds very interesting. Maybe i should try something like that, because it does not seem like the sound mill will be that easy to make work...
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