Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Ringing in My Ears

Sorry that I've been away for so long, but I am back and better than ever! (You can judge for yourselves...)

This past Wednesday in my Physics Lab, we looked at sound waves. Well, we didn't really LOOK at them; sound waves are, after all, invisible. Ahh, but what technology we have! We can detect the sound waves using a microphone hooked up to a receiver, and look on the screen to see how strong the signals are. By changing the frequency or the distance the microphone is from the speaker, we can notice changes in waves. When the waves have the highest peak on the screen, we can tell how many sound waves are present in the closed chamber. After achieving these high peaks, we alter the frequency or distance again until the peaks appear again. Then we know that there is one more wave in the chamber.

At any rate, the title of my blog is very appropriate, since this experiment involved sound. The sound waves were emitted by a function generator, and believe me, it is not a silent procedure. In fact, the entire time the generator was producing sound waves into the chamber, a high pitched beep was heard throughout the room. One by itself was bad enough, but imagine 8-9 of these things going off all at the same time! I would equate it with being in the front row of a rock concert; yeah, it was that loud. Fortunately enough I only had to endure that for about an hour and a half, and once I got outside the ringing was finally gone.

You know what, this Physics stuff isn't that bad sometimes...