Sound and Objects
How does resonance (sound waves in particular) effect
the physical characteristics of objects?
Michael: resonance will not usually have any visable effects on physical
characterisitcs, however, sometimes it can be devistational. Use your local
library to look up the "Tacoma Narrows Bridge" , or if you have access to
"The Mechanical Universe" video tape series, there is an entire video on
resonance and the like.
A sound wave is a vibration that travels through the air and through
objects. When a wave reaches a surface of an object, some of the wave is
reflected and some passes through into the object. Normally, very little of
the wave remains within the object for very long. When the wave vibrates at
a rate natural to the object, much of the wave remains within the object.
As more waves like this enter the object, vibration builds up enough to
distort or break the object. An example can be done with a Slinky. Hold it
at both ends. If you shake an end at a natural rate, the Slinky will over
time develop a very large vibration. If you do not, much of the vibration
will be felt passing into the hands that hold the spring.
Click here to return to the Physics Archives
Update: June 2012