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Aim: to measure the Speed of Sound in a Resonance Tube
See Resonance in Tubes Closed at One End
 
Sound travels slightly more slowly inside a tube compared with its speed in open air.
 
Method
A convenient way to measure the speed involves finding the lengths at which an air column resonates for a range of frequencies.
Set up apparatus similar to that shown below.
Set the generator to a known frequency and vary the length of the air column (by lowering or raising the tube into or out of the water).
Some preliminary calculations will be needed to know approximately what range of frequencies will be suitable for the lengths of air column being investigated.
When resonance occurs, a loud sound will be heard.
Note the frequency and the length of the air column.
 
The calibration of many signal generators is approximate.
Use a frequency meter to measure the frequencies supplied by the generator.
A frequency meter is connected in the same way as a voltmeter.
 
Analysis of results
It has been shown that, at the fundamental resonance, the length of the tube is given by
where e is the end correction and λ is the wavelength of the sound.
Rearranging this equation a teeny bit gives
so if we plot a graph of L against 1/fo we should have a straight line which will allow us to find both the speed of sound and the end correction of the tube.
 
The end correction is usually taken to be about 0.6 times the radius of the tube.
See if your results agree with this...
 
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