Vernier Software and Technology
Vernier Software & Technology

Sound and Loudness


The goal of this activity is for students to determine a relationship between sound wave amplitude and decibel level. In the Preliminary Observations, students observe sound waves breaking a glass tumbler, either by watching a video or live demonstration. Students then discuss how the sound wave could break the glass, which particular wave characteristics are important in the process, and how one could measure them.

Safety Precaution: Because this investigation involves making loud noises, care must be taken to protect everyone's hearing.

Learning Outcomes

  • Design and perform an investigation.
  • Draw a conclusion from evidence.
  • Understand the relationship between wave amplitude and decibel level.

Sensors and Equipment

This experiment features the following Vernier sensors and equipment.

Option 1

Option 2

Option 3

Additional Requirements

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

Next Generation Science Standards

Disciplinary Core Ideas

PS4.A Wave Properties

Crosscutting Concepts

  • Cause and Effect
  • Systems and System Models
  • Energy and Matter
  • Influence of Science, Engineering and Technology on Society and the Natural World
  • Stability and Change

Science and Engineering Practices

  • Asking Questions and Defining Problems
  • Planning and Carrying Out Investigations
  • Analyzing and Interpreting Data
  • Engaging in Argument from Evidence
  • Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking
  • Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information

Experiment 30 from Physics Explorations and Projects Lab Book

<i>Physics Explorations and Projects</i> book cover

Included in the Lab Book

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

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