Talking Physics

IOPSpark Sound resources

This topic contains 3 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by  David Cotton 2 days, 10 hours ago.

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  • #59672
    Profile photo of Andrew Normand

    I am delivering my “Tones Tines and Tings” talk at the IOP South West Physics CPD Day

    So I am exploring the new

    Beats feature in my talks. The talk this time will have a new audience participation time, with whistling lollipops given to each member of the audience. We will try and make a beat frequency together.

    The first thing I found on IOPSpark was a SPT classroom activity using audacity. There is a nice way to use audacity with a police whistle to explore ghost frequencies.

    Here are some of the ways I demonstrate beats

    You can use two signal generators

    It is probably unlikely to have two signal generators so you can do a similar thing with mobile phones.

    The first way I ever made beats was with two tuning forks.

  • #59685
    Profile photo of Andrew Normand

    What never ceases to amaze me about physics is when you look at a concept you will always find an application for it somewhere!
    To test for poisonous gases in mines they used to have organ pipe with surface air in it and another with air pumped up from the mine. These pipes of same length were played together. If one pipes frequency was changed due to the gas from the mine being of a different density then a beat was heard.

    We used to use beats to tune our cornets in Frodsham Silver Band.

  • #59720
    Profile photo of Andrew Normand

    My son made me this Audacity tutorial to make beats.
    Audacity is a free, open source, cross-platform audio software

    The link below is to the PowerPoint

    Another resource on the IOP Spark website is Practical Activity 14 – 16 Nuffield Practicals.
    Here beats are in the Introducing Waves page


  • #59723
    Profile photo of Andrew Normand

    I was pleased to find a new piece of kit to build on the IOP Spark website.
    I have always like this AQA A Level Physics question.


    Some times the path difference questions are based on waves other than EM waves.
    This question is how I became aware of¬†Quincke’s tube. The instructions to make it are here



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