Investigating the speed of sound through different media
Van Barr, Finley
The speed of sound was calculated through different materials by measuring the time taken for a vibrational signal to travel a known distance. The signal was detected at the starting and finishing points using piezoelectric transducers (PZTs). The media investigated include aluminium, acrylic, steel, glass and two samples of wood. The speeds found agreed with the recorded literature values, with the values for the speed through glass, (3300 ±180 ms⁻¹) and steel, (6000 ±370 ms⁻¹) being especially close and within the range of the calculated uncertainty. The young’s moduli of each material were also calculated, and it was determined that the wood sample was most likely balsa wood with values of 449 ±5.8 MPa and 790 ±13 MPa.