Education Technology

Stay Tuned: Sound Waveform Models

Published on 07/02/2009

Activity Overview

In this activity, students' will record the sound waveform of a tuning fork and analyze the waveform to determine frequency, period and amplitude information. They will model the waveform using trigonometric functions.

Before the Activity

  • Connect the Vernier microphone to Channel 1 on the CBL 2™ or Vernier LabPro®
  • Connect the CBL 2 or LabPro to the calculator using the Unit-to-Unit cable
  • See the attached PDF file for detailed instructions for this activity
  • Print pages 255 - 262 from the attached PDF file for your class
  • During the Activity

    Distribute the pages to your class.

    Follow the Activity procedures:

  • Keep the calculator in radian mode and zero the microphone channel
  • Produce a sound with a tuning fork or keyboard, hold it close to the microphone, and begin data collection
  • Observe the sinusoidal waveform and record the time of first and last peaks, the period, and the number of complete cycles in the Data Sheet
  • Calculate the amplitude and frequency of the sound wave
  • After the Activity

    Students' will analyze their data and complete the Data Collection and Analysis Sheet. They will also answer the questions listed in it.

    Review student results

  • As a class, discuss questions that appeared to be more challenging
  • Re-teach concepts as necessary