Tones, Vowels and Telephones

Figure from experiment 34 from Physics with Vernier

Introduction

In this experiment, you will analyze various common sounds. You will use a Microphone connected to a computer. The data-collection program will display the waveform of each sound, and will perform a Fast Fourier Transform (or FFT) of the waveform. The FFT tells you the amplitudes and frequencies of a collection of sine waves that, when added together, would sound the same as the original waveform.

In the first part of the experiment, you will study the sound of a tuning fork, which produces a tone composed mainly of a single frequency. Next, you will observe the production of overtones on a tuning fork. Overtones whose frequencies are multiples of the fundamental are called harmonic; other overtones are called inharmonic. You will also analyze the sound produced when you say two vowels.

In the last part of the experiment, you will be given a problem to solve. How does the telephone company know what numbers you dial?

Objectives

  • Use a Microphone to analyze the frequency components of a tuning fork and your voice.
  • Record overtones produced with a tuning fork.
  • Examine how a touch-tone phone works.

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

No standards correlations for this experiment.

Experiment 34 from Physics with Vernier Lab Book

<i>Physics with Vernier</i> book cover

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