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# Date: 9/21/11 Lab Section: 10 Lauren Margraf Partners: Cody George and Evan Foreman Vibrating Strings

## TA: Asanka Weerasinghe

Introduction and Theory The purpose of the lab was to show how tension on a string affects its resonant frequencies and to calculate the linear mass density of the string. The lab revolved around the idea of a resonating string, and how the frequency of that string can be changed simply by changing either the tension on the string, the length of the string, or by using a new string with a different mass per unit length. The frequencies found were of the first 5 harmonics, which vibrate at the highest amplitude possible creating an audible sound. These resonating frequencies create standing waves (shown above:). Standing waves are made when two waves moving in the opposite direction collide and create constructive interference. In the case of the lab preformed, the string was held at both ends generating nodes. It was also possible to see the antinodes in the pattern of the harmonic once the frequency was found for that specific one.

In general, the equation that relates wavelength and the length of the string is n = 2L/n In this case n is the order of the harmonic and n = 1, 2, 3,..., (1)

The wavelength is related to the frequency, f, and speed of the wave, v, by v = f The velocity can also depend on the force of tension, FT, and the linear mass density, . v = ( FT/ ) (3) (2)

Using these three equations, one can put them in terms of the length of the string, the force of tension, and the frequency which will be used later. 2L/n = f( FT/ ) This will be used when calculating linear mass density, , using the slope. Meanwhile, F T was calculated from the data using the equation FT = notch (g)(W), W = mg, g = 9.81 m/s^2

During the experiment, in order to find the actual resonating frequency from the frequency measured on the sonometer, the reading had to be multiplied by two . The final concept was of error of the linear mass density using equation 7 from the lab manual. This equation uses the linear mass density, error in length, length, error in slope, and the slope to compute the possible error in the value calculated for linear mass density. ( )^2= ^2(2

L/L) + (s/s)

Procedure In order to prepare for this experiment, each group received several metal strings. After choosing one with a medium thickness, it was placed onto the sonometer, by putting the looped end over a knob at one end and placing the knob on the string into the notch at the other end. Then a weight was hung from the fifth notch on the tensioning lever and the lever was adjusted so it was horizontal. The string rested just above a driver coil, which generated the waves, and a detector coil, which measured the frequencies of the waves. These were placed about 60 cm apart. The sonometer was then turned on and the frequency turned up until the first harmonic could be seen, both to the naked eye and on the function generator as a sine function. More often than not the amplitude had to be adjusted (usually to a greater amplitude) to get a visible graph. After recording the frequency of the first harmonic and multiplying by two to find the actual frequency, we found the frequencies up to the fifth harmonic. Next, the mass was moved to the fourth notch to change the tension in the string, and all five harmonics were found. This was then repeated for the final three notches, finding and recording the frequencies for each of the first five harmonics using the same method. Data and Graphs Table 1: Frequency of the given harmonic with the mass hanging on the fifth notch of the sonometer.
Notch 5 Measured Frequency 52.1 106.1 160.1 212.3 268.1 Resonant Frequency 104.2 212.2 320.2 424.6 536.2 Order of Harmonic 1 2 3 4 5

Table 2: Frequency of the given harmonic with the mass hanging on the fourth notch of the sonometer.
Notch 4 Measured Frequency 47.2 71.9 95.2 120.5 143.8 Resonant Frequency 94.4 143.8 190.4 241 287.6 Order of Harmonic 1 2 3 4 5

Table 3: Frequency of the given harmonic with the mass hanging on the third notch of the sonometer.
Notch 3 Measured Frequency 21 40 63.6 81.3 100.4 Resonant Frequency 42 80 127.2 162.6 200.8 Order of Harmonic 1 2 3 4 5

Table 4: Frequency of the given harmonic with the mass hanging on the second notch of the sonometer.
Notch 2 Measured Frequency 8.3 13.8 17.3 22.9 26.2 Resonant Frequency 16.6 27.6 34.6 45.8 52.4 Order of Harmonic 1 2 3 4 5

Table 5: Frequency of the given harmonic with the mass hanging on the first notch of the sonometer.
Notch 1 Measured Frequency 4.6 5.7 7.5 8.2 9.6 Resonant Frequency 9.2 11.4 15 16.4 19.2 Order of Harmonic 1 2 3 4 5

## Graph 6: Resonant Frequencies as a function of Order of Harmonics for standing waves

Resonant Freq vs.Order of Harmonics

25

20

## Resonant Freq (Hz)

15
Resonant Freq vs.Order

10

0 1 2 3 4 5

Order of Harmonics

Table 6: Force of tension, Error in Force of tension, Fundamental frequency, Error in fundamental frequency
Ft 12.24779 9.798228 7.348671 9.798228 2.449557 Error Ft 0.05 0.05 0.05 0.05 0.05 f1 107.6 48.36 39.8 8.98 2.5 Error f1 1.1 0.67 1.8 0.86 0.33

## notch 5 notch 4 notch 3 notch 2 notch 1

Conclusions The purpose of the lab was to see the effects of tension on the frequency of a wave on a string. This was measured by creating standing waves on the string and measuring the frequencies of each harmonic. After repeating the process four times with different tensions, it was possible to see (Table 6) that as the tension became less, the fundamental frequency also became less. Thus the lesser tension created a lower pitch. Using this data, we were able to calculate the linear mass density and the error within it. Initially Graph 6 showed that as the harmonic increased, so did the frequency. Once the graphs were created in LinReg this was just proven for each tension. Graph 1 shows the resonant frequencies versus the order of the harmonic when the tension in the string was the greatest. We would expect to see a graph where the points lie directly on the linear fit line because the frequency and order are proportional as the order grows by values of one. The graph shows a slope of 107.6 Hz which is equal to the fundamental frequency of this tension. This is consistent with the resonant frequency of the first harmonic in Table 1 which has a value of 104.2 Hz. The difference between the two is -3.4 Hz, which is the intercept on the graph. Graph 2 shows the resonant frequencies versus the order of the harmonic when the mass was on the fourth notch creating a lesser tension than the first. The value (slope) for the fundamental frequency here was found to be 48.36 Hz, and the actual frequency of the fundamental in Table 2 was 94.4 Hz. Subtracting the two we get 46.4 Hz (y-intercept of the graph). Graph 3 is the resonant frequencies versus the order of the harmonic when the mass was on the third notch. The tension was even less than the first two and the fundamental equals 39.8 Hz. Table 3 shows the fundamental to be 42 Hz. Subtracting the two you get the y-intercept: 3.5 Hz Graph 4 has the resonant frequencies versus the order of the harmonic when the mass rests on the second notch. The graph shows the fundamental frequency to be 8.98 Hz, and Table 4 shows the fundamental to be at 16.6 Hz. When you subtract the two, we see that the y-intercept will be 8.5 Hz.

Finally, Graph 5 is the resonant frequencies versus the order of the harmonic when the mass is on notch 1 and the tension is at its least. The slope of the graph shows the fundamental to be 2.5 Hz, and Table 5 shows the fundamental to be 9.2 Hz, which if you subtract the two the yintercept is found to be 6.7 Hz. In each of the graphs it is possible to see that the more the tension decreases, the more the frequency decreases. Because of this only the error bars are visible on graph 5. Otherwise, the magnitudes are much too great to see .05 Hz error bars. The final graph created was the graph of fundamental frequency (squared) versus force of tension. The linear fit line for the graph gave a slope that allowed us to find the error in our mass density calculation. Using the equations Slope = 1/(4*L^2* ) and ( )^2= ^2(2

L/L) + (s/s)

When we plugged everything in, = 0.68 g/m and = 0.87 g/m. This was a very reasonable mass density considering it matched up closely with the string in the list that was .78 g/m. From all of the data that we obtained and the values we calculated, we can conclude that the string used had an actual mass density of 0.78 g/m. Our value of 0.68 g/m was the closest to this mass density in the list so the error could be because of human error, and mechanical error during the experiment.