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Name That Tune

Figure from experiment 3 from Forensics with Vernier


On Tuesday night, wealthy recluse Tajia Winslow was robbed of her famous collection of rubies, known around the world as the Winslow Ten. The rubies were stored in a safe behind a painting in Ms. Winslow’s basement. The safe has a computer lock similar to a telephone keypad. Each time a number on the pad is pushed, a specific tone sounds. This method was developed to assist Ms. Winslow in opening the safe, because she is elderly and has difficulty reading the numbers on the keypad. She thought she was the only person who knew the tune of the combination.


  • Identify the musical notes that make up the combination to a safe.
  • Detect the waveform of a musical note, using a Microphone.
  • Calculate the frequency of a musical note from the period of its waveform.

Sensors and Equipment

This experiment requires each of the following Vernier sensors and equipment (unless otherwise noted):

Additional Requirements

You may also need an interface and software for data collection. What do I need for data collection?

Download Experiment Preview

The student-version preview includes:

  • Step-by-step instructions for computer-based data collection
  • List of materials and equipment

Note: The experiment preview of the computer edition does not include essential teacher information, safety tips, or sample data. Instructions for Logger Pro and other software (such as LabQuest App or TI handheld software, where available) are on the CD that accompanies the book. We strongly recommend that you purchase the book before performing experiments.

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Standards Correlations

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Experiment 3 from Forensics with Vernier Lab Book

<em>Forensics with Vernier</em> book cover

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Included in the Lab Book

Vernier lab books include a CD with word-processing files of the student instructions, essential teacher information, suggested answers, sample data and graphs, and more.

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