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Homework Help: Speed of sound - reaction time

  1. Nov 23, 2006 #1
    Today i did a simple expirement to calculate the speed of sound by placing someone 180 m away from me and telling the clap two wooden blocks. I timed the time it took between me seeing the blocks hit each other and when i heard the sound of the two blocks. Now in order for this to be as acurate as possible i want to remove the time it took me to react. So does anyone know anyway i can remove the time it takes me to react from the expirement ?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 23, 2006 #2
    Just estimate your reaction time and remove it from the time you got
  4. Nov 23, 2006 #3


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    The reaction time should cancel because you take x seconds to start the watch after you see the blocks then x seconds when you hear the clap.
  5. Nov 23, 2006 #4
    yes kurdt it should cancel out but since i'm dealing with a time less then a second but if i looked at the blocks i would be more likely to start the stopwatch before the blocks hit and would be less likely to stop it on time. So in order to get over that problem i got someone to stand beside me and count to 3 while i looked at the ground and timed as accurately as possible.

    i will try to estimate it ponjavic but if it goes above like 0.2 of a second then it would mean my results would show that the outside temp. was like 50 degress celcius.
  6. Nov 23, 2006 #5
    You could get someone to stand next to you and clap when they see the wooden blocks hit, with you looking away. Then, you can measure the time between the 2 claps.
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