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Homework Help: Sound-Related project

  1. Feb 6, 2006 #1
    I wasn't sure if this was the right place to post this, but it looked close enough. I have a younger sister who has to do a project for an annual science fair. My mother signed her up for a project that involves measuring how well sound travels through solids, liquids and gases. Because I have an interest in electronics, she figured that I would be able to come up with some mechanism of accurately measuring, in her words, "How loud the sound will be" coming through the different materials.

    First off, it seems like measuring how loud the sound will be might not be the best thing to base an experiment on. And if I'm correct in assuming that such an experiment would not be useful, I need to know if there is a good alternative. What is the best way to make the measurements she would need, and if necessary, what sort of device might I need to build?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 6, 2006 #2


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    What might you guess can detect sound? (hint: what do you use when recording sound?)

    Here's a thought. Set up one of these devices in a fixed position. Generate your sound (use the same sound source each time, keep the same intensity as well) on the other side of the media you are testing (solid, liquid, gas)
    and record it into the soundcard to the harddisk of a computer.

    Using some sound editing software .. I have tried Goldwave, it will display relative amplitude in graphical format. So you can have a means to compare each medium. This will not give you values in absolute units (dB), but will give you numerically valid results that indicate differences in intensity (loudness).
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2006
  4. Feb 7, 2006 #3
    I had suggested the use of a microphone and a similar experiment, but my mother complained of a lack of accuracy or somesuch. I'll tell her that there aren't a lot of other options. Thanks for the help.
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