Tuning Forks and Tings

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    • #43616
      Profile photo of Andrew Normand

      This interesting article on Tuning Forks has been shared on the PTNC



    • #43645
      Profile photo of Andrew Normand

      Several times I’ve come close to buying a siren, I just like the look of them, they have several in that Whipple collection.

      I do have a sievert’s wheel, though he didn’t invent it he does get the name. Astoundingly one was first used to demonstrate the existence of Ultrasound. I’d love to recreate that but you would need a pretty big wheel. How amazing though to watch as it speeds up and find that it eventually goes silent on you even though you can see it is still working.

      I do have the more simple design of siren, it is just a single disc with no dials. holes in the disc of the same size and spacing  on different PCDs produce different notes as air is passed through them. I have never tried it as I don’t think I have a suitable compressor.



    • #43729
      Profile photo of Andrew Normand

      Hi Nick, I must look into this way of generating ultrasound, possibly in conjunction with a bat sensor. I have always wanted to make a ultrasound flame sensor, I read about in Exploring Musics By Charles Taylor. This book is based on Professor Taylor’s Christmas lecture



      The links on the PTNC for tuning forks, also mentioned the Fender-Rhodes electric piano. I remember having a conversation with my son, where he told me how the Fender-Rhodes had vibrating metal (like tuning forks) to generate its sound. He also said the piano’s inventor had made them to provide therapeutic piano lessons for combat soldiers.

      Last summer my son and I started looking at making guitar pickups. He had just finished his A levels including physics and he was about to start on his Audio Acoustics BEng (Hons) at Salford University.

      My son has finished his first year now and I have been really impressed with the course and the amount of sound physics he has learnt. I have been telling my students about the course and am passionate about telling my students about the field of acoustics. If you have any students that are interested in physics and music then you may wish to make them aware of this course


      As I was saying in preparation for my sons commencement of the course we decided to look at how guitar pick ups work. We were both surprised how easy it was to make a working pickup with just wire and a magnet.

      You can see in the clip below that the ferromagnetic tuning fork oscillates in the magnetic field causing a change in magnetic flux which induces an emf in the coil of wire. The resulting ac current is fed into a guitar amp and the tone can be heard.

      The Fender-Rhodes has a kind of tuning fork called a Tine which is hit with a hammer similar to a piano but is then amplified via an electromagnetic pickup.


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