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How Sound is Produced

Simple Science

How Sound is Produced

If one investigates the source of any sound, he will always find that it is due to motion of some kind. A sudden noise is traced to the fall of an object, or to an explosion, or to a collision; in fact, is due to the motion of matter. A piano gives out sound whenever a player strikes the keys and sets in motion the various wires within the piano; speech and song are caused by the motion of chest, vocal cords, and lips.

If a large dinner bell is rung, its motion or vibration may be felt on touching it with the finger. If a tuning fork is made to give forth sound by striking it against the knee, or hitting it with a rubber hammer, and is then touched to the surface of water, small sprays of water will be thrown out, showing that the prongs of the fork are in rapid motion. (A rubber hammer is made by putting a piece of glass tubing through a rubber cork.)

If a light cork ball on the end of a thread is brought in contact with a sounding fork, the ball does not remain at rest, but vibrates back and forth, being driven by the moving prongs.

These simple facts lead us to conclude that all sound is due to the motion of matter, and that a sounding body of any kind is in rapid motion.

FIG. - Sprays of water show that the fork is in motion.

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