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Determining Room Temperature Using Resonance and Wave Motion

Introduction: Sound waves are an ideal part of everyday life- without them, people would not be able to hear. The significance of sound waves, however, goes far beyond the obvious part they play in the transfer of sound: sound waves can be used to determine the temperature of a room. To understand the concepts of sound, a proper understanding of terminology must be obtained. Firstly, when an object (such as a tuning fork) is struck, it will vibrate. When these vibrations have a large enough frequency (20 Hz to 20,000 Hz) they will be audible to the human ear; this is known as sound. When sound waves hit matter, one of the possible outcomes is an interaction known as reflection. Reflection is what happens when the sounds energy hits a boundary (water in this investigation) and is returned back into the starting medium (air in this investigation). When looking at sound waves, the distance between two adjacent points that are vibrating in phase is known as one wavelength (symbolized by ). When two sound waves of identical frequencies, travelling in opposite directions, interfere with each other, they create a new wave known as the standing wave. A node is a point on the standing wave where the wave does not move, and is a point at which sound is loudest. In a standing 1 wave, the distance between nodes is given by: d n = , where dn represents the 2 distance between nodes. A frequency of any sound wave that creates a standing wave is called a resonance frequency, and the length of the wave between one node and the node at the closed end of the air column is known as a resonant wavelength. The speed of sound in air varies depending on the temperature of the air. To determine the speed of sound in air of any given temperature, the equation: v s = 332 m / s + 0.6T , where vs represents the velocity of sound, and T represents the temperature in C, can be used. When analyzing the frequency and velocity of sound waves, the frequency can be v determined by using the formula: f = , where f represents the frequency, v represents the velocity and represents the wavelength. The purpose of this lab was to measure the temperature of the room using the concepts of resonance and wave motion. The experimentally determined temperature was to be compared to the actual room temperature as shown by a thermometer. It was hypothesized that the experimentally determined room temperature would be close to the actual room temperature (within a range of 5C). When performing the investigation, careful safety considerations were taken. Any water that was spilled was immediately cleaned up; the tuning fork was not to be hit on a hard object, as that could have broken it.

Materials: Ruler 1024 Hz Tuning Fork Rubber Hammer - Plastic Graduated Cylinder - Metal Tube - Water

Procedure: The lab materials were obtained and set up according to the diagram on the handout. The plastic graduated cylinder was filled close to the top with water predicted to be near room temperature. The metal tube was held low in the water and the tuning fork was hit, using the rubber hammer, above the tube. The tube was slowly pulled out of the water and the first resonant point was listened for. When the first resonant point was found, the length of the air column from the surface of the water to the top of the open tube was measured and recorded as the first resonant length. This was repeated twice more to obtain an average value. The tuning fork was then struck again, using the rubber hammer, and placed above the tube. The tube was pulled past the first resonant length until the second resonant length was heard. The length of the air column was measured and recorded as the second resonant length. This was repeated twice more to obtain an average value. Observations: Figure 1: First Resonant Length Measurements Trial 1 2 3 Average Measurement (cm) 7.40 +/- 0.05 7.30 +/- 0.05 7.50 +/- 0.05 7.40

Figure 2: Second Resonant Length Measurements Trial 1 2 3 Average Measurement (cm) 24.5 +/- 0.05 24.4 +/- 0.05 24.6 +/- 0.05 24.5

Analysis: Once the two resonant lengths were obtained, the difference in length between them was obtained. This was done using the equation, L = L2 L1 , where L2 represents the second resonant wavelength and L1 represents the second resonant wavelength. L = L2 L1 L = (24.5cm) (7.4cm) L = 17.1cm L = 0.171m The calculated difference in resonant wavelengths was found to be about 1.71 10 1 m +/- 0.005m. The wavelength of the sound emitted from the tuning fork was then obtained, using 1 the equation, d n = . 2 1 dn = 2 = 2d n = 2(0.171m) = 0.342 m The calculated wavelength was about 3.42 10 1 m +/- 0.005m. Using the calculated wavelengths and the given frequency of the tuning fork (1024 Hz), the speed of sound in air was calculated. v v = f v = (1024 Hz )(0.342 m) v = 350.208m / s f = The calculated speed of sound in air was about 350 m/s +/- 0.05m/s. Using the calculated speed of sound in air, the air temperature in the room was obtained. v s = 332 m / s + 0.6T (v 332 m / s ) T= (0.6)

((350.208m / s) 332 m / s ) (0.6) T = 30C T= The temperature in the room was calculated to be about 30C +/- 0.5C. To ensure a proper calculation of percent error, the temperature must be converted from degrees Celsius to degrees Kelvin. This is done using the formula TK = TC + 273, where TK represents the temperature in degrees Kelvin and TC represents the temperature in degrees Celsius. TK = TC + 273 TK = (30C) + 273 TK = 303K The temperature in the room was calculated to be about 303K +/- 0.5K. The thermometer at the teachers desk was consulted and the actual room temperature was found to be 29C, converted to a Kelvin temperature of 302K. The following calculation was used to find the percentage error of the obtained temperature value. ((obtainedvalue) (acceptedvalue)) %error = 100 (acceptedvalue) ((303 K ) (302 K )) %error = 100 302 K %error = 3.45% The calculated room temperature was found with a percent error of only 0.33% +/- 0.005% . An equation was derived in order to obtain Tair ,directly from the value of L, in one step: Tair = ((1024 Hz )(2L) 332 m / s ) 0.6

To prove this, the equation was used to find the temperature of the air successfully: Tair = Tair = Tair = ((1024 Hz )(2(0.171m)) 332 m / s ) 0.6 ((1024 Hz )(0.342 m) 332 m / s ) 0.6 (350.208m / s 332 m / s) 0.6

Tair = Tair Discussion:

(18.208m / s ) 0.6 = 30C +/- 0.5C

The percent error that was calculated was very low, considering how easily the temperature value could change, depending on a tiny change in the value of a variable (like the resonant wavelength). The percent error was very close to the uncertainties of all the measurements, being just a small amount larger. For example, the calculated temperature was about 303K with an uncertainty of about +/-0.5K. This works out to be a percentage of uncertainty of about 0.16%, about half of the value obtained in the percentage error calculation. There were a few sources of error present in the experiment. Firstly, the temperature of the water was not the exact same temperature as the room, even though an attempt was made to obtain water at a temperature as close to that of the air as possible. The effect that the temperature of the water would have had on the experiment has to do with the fact that sound travels at different speeds through air of different temperatures. The temperature of the water would have affected the air directly around the graduated cylinder through a change in temperature. If the water was warmer than the air around it, the measurement of the room temperature would have been too high because the heat from the water would have also heated the air directly around the water. If the water were cooler, the effect would have been the opposite, due to the air around the water being cooler. As the sound wave moved through the air around the graduated cylinder, the temperature of the water would have affected the temperature of the air that the sound waves traveled through and would have resulted in an increase (or decrease) in the calculated speed of air. This source of error could have been eliminated if the water were left to sit in the graduated cylinder for a long time, until the water was the same temperature as the room. Another source of error that was present in the experiment was associated with the measurement of the metal tube protruding from the metal cylinder. An exact measurement was not actually obtained because the ruler was not able to rest on the water to provide an exact reading. The obtained measurement, however, was taken with only a small degree of uncertainty, so the results of the experiment were accurate. If an apparatus were made that had a fixed measurement reading-tool, the inaccuracy of measurement using a ruler could have been eliminated, and the final results would have been even more accurate. It would not be possible to complete the same experiment using the same equipment, if the 1024 Hz tuning fork were replaced with a 512 Hz tuning fork. This is because a 512 Hz tuning fork will not produce a large enough frequency in order to produce two nodes; there will therefore be no full sound wave. This would result in a lack of information needed to calculate the velocity of sound in air, and therefore the temperature of the air would not be able to be calculated. If this experiment were to be done again, it would be interesting to examine different rooms with different temperatures in order to discover how large of a difference the speed of sound in air has between school rooms. The obtained information could be

used to determine the best room to have lectures in, and the best room to use as a quiet room, such as a library. Conclusion: The wavelength of sound emitted from the tuning fork was about 3.42 10 1 m +/- 0.005m, resulting in a calculated velocity of sound in the room to be about 350 m/s +/- 0.05m/s. From these calculations, the temperature of the room was calculated to be 30C (303K), with a percentage error of only 0.33% +/- 0.005% .