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Homework Help: Velocity of wave

  1. Nov 16, 2009 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    A certain music instrument consists of a stick of wood placed horizontally and a resonance "tube" (see attached picture, which is from the original assignment-paper) placed vertically under the stick of wood. When the wood-stick is hit, is creates a standing wave, which is amplified in the resonance "tube". The resonance "tube" is half-open (closed in botton, open in top). The music instrument is seen below:

    I have to calculate the velocity of the transverse wave v_stick in the wood stick.
    Information I am given:
    Velocity of sound: v_sound=343 m/s

    The resonance tube is four times as long as the stick of wood (the distance between the triangles on the picture)

    2. Relevant equations
    For a string with a standing wave we have that:

    For a half-open resonance "tube" we have that:

    L is the length of the string (wood stick) or the air "pillar" in which the standing wave exists, n is the number of the partial-tone and lambda is the wave length.

    3. The attempt at a solution


    I'm unsure of what i know of the wave in the resonance tube, but if I can say that the standing wave in the wood stick has n=1 and the one in the resonance tube has n=8 (see the attached picture), I get:

    [itex]4\frac{lambda_{stick}}{2}=\frac{15\lambda_{tube}}{4} \Leftrightarrow 2\lambda_{stick}=\frac{15}{4}\lambda_{tube}[/itex]

    I know I can insert the wave eqaution v=lambda*frequency, but what I have just seems so wrong and I have thought very long time about it. I hope you are willing to help me. I'm so stuck.

    Best regards.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Nov 16, 2009
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 16, 2009 #2


    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    Wow, the two n's make it complicated - many different solutions depending on their values, I think.

    I would have begun with the fact that the
    frequency on wood = frequency in tube
    and put in the conversion to wavelength on each side and then convert the wavelength to L's using those two formulas. I get an expression for the velocity that is (2n-1)*343/8m where n is the air tone number and m the wood tone number. This may be the same as you have. I don't know how you will choose m and n.
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