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# Mechanics Mechanical Vibration Acoustics

1.5.09-11 Interference of acoustic waves, stationary waves and diffraction at a slot with PC interface

## What you can learn about

 Interference
 Reflection
 Diffraction
 Acoustic waves
 Stationary waves
 Huygens-Fresnel principle
 Use of an interface

Principle:
Two acoustic sources emit waves
of the same frequency and if their
distance is a multiple of the wave-
length, an interference structure
becomes apparent in the space
where the waves are superim-
posed.
An acoustic wave impinges per-
pendicularly onto a reflector, the
incident and the reflected wave
are superimposed to a stationary
wave. In case of reflection, a pres-
sure antinode will always occur at
the point of reflection.

## What you need:

Measuring microphone 03542.00 1
Flat cell battery, 9 V 07496.10 1
Screen, metal, 300300 mm 08062.00 2
Function generator 13652.93 1
Right angle clamp -PASS- 02040.55 1
Stand tube 02060.00 4
Barrel base -PASS- 02006.55 4
Bench clamp -PASS- 02010.00 1
Plate holder 02062.00 1
Meter scale, demo. l = 1000 mm 03001.00 1
Silk thread, l = 200 m 02412.00 1
Weight holder 1 g 02407.00 1 Measurement example, stationary waves.
Connecting cord, l = 1000 mm, red 07363.01 1
Connecting cord, l = 1000 mm, blue 07363.04 1
Movement sensor with cable 12004.10 1
Tasks: An acoustic wave impinges on a
Adapter, BNC-socket/4mm plug pair 07542.27 2 sufficiently narrow slot, it is dif-
1. To measure the interference of
Adapter, BNC socket - 4 mm plug 07542.20 1 fracted into the geometrical shad-
acoustic waves.
Power supply, 12 V- 12151.99 1 ow spaces. The diffraction and the
2. To analyze the reflection of acous- interference pattern occurring
Cobra3 Basic Unit 12150.00 1 tic waves stationary waves. behind the slot can be explained
Cobra3 Force/Tesla Measurement Software 14515.61 1 3. To measure the diffraction at a by means of the Huygens-Fresnel
Connecting cord, l = 500 mm, red 07361.01 1 slot of acoustic waves. principle and confirm the wave
Connecting cord, l = 500 mm, blue 07361.04 1 characteristics of sound.
RS232 data cable 14602.00 1
PC, Windows 95 or higher

## Complete Equipment Set, Manual on CD-ROM included

Interference of acoustic waves, stationary waves
and diffraction at a slot with PC interface P2150911

66 Laboratory Experiments Physics PHYWE Systeme GmbH & Co. KG D - 37070 Gttingen
LEP
Interference of acoustic waves, stationary waves
1.5.09
and diffraction at a slot with Cobra3
-11

## Related topics Bench clamp -PASS- 02010.00 1

Interference, reflection, diffraction, acoustic waves, stationary Plate holder 02062.00 1
waves, Huygens-Fresnel principle, use of an interface. Meter scale, demo. l = 1000 mm 03001.00 1
Silk thread, l = 200 m 02412.00 1
Weight holder 1 g 02407.00 1
Principle
Connecting cord, l = 1000 mm, red 07363.01 1
Two acoustic sources emit waves of the same frequency Connecting cord, l = 1000 mm, blue 07363.04 1
and if their distance is a multiple of the wavelength, an Movement sensor with cable 12004.10 1
interference structure becomes apparent in the space Adapter, BNC-socket/4mm plug pair 07542.27 2
where the waves are superimposed. Adapter, BNC socket - 4 mm plug 07542.20 1
An acoustic wave impinges perpendicularly onto a reflec- Power supply, 12 V 12151.99 1
tor, the incident and the reflected wave are superimposed Cobra3 Basic Unit 12150.00 1
to a stationary wave. In case of reflection, a pressure anti- Cobra3 Force/Tesla Measurement Software 14515.61 1
node will always occur at the point of reflection. Connecting cord, l = 500 mm, red 07361.01 1
An acoustic wave impinges on a sufficiently narrow slot, it Connecting cord, l = 500 mm, blue 07361.04 1
is diffracted into the geometrical shadow spaces. The dif- RS232 data cable 14602.00 1
fraction and the interference pattern occurring behind the PC, Windows 95 or higher
slot can be explained by means of the Huygens-Fresnel
principle and confirm the wave characteristics of sound.
1. To measure the interference of acoustic waves.
Equipment
2. To analyze the reflection of acoustic waves stationary
Measuring microphone 03542.00 1 3. To measure the diffraction at a slot of acoustic waves.
Flat cell battery, 9 V 07496.10 1
Screen, metal, 300300 mm 08062.00 2
Set up
Function generator 13652.93 1
Right angle clamp -PASS- 02040.55 1 Interference: according to Fig. 1: the loudspeakers are
Stand tube 02060.00 4 connected as a function of the output resistance of the sig-
Barrel base -PASS- 02006.55 4 nal generator according to Fig. 1.

## Fig. 1: Experimental set-up for interference measurements.

PHYWE series of publications Laboratory Experiments Physics PHYWE SYSTEME GMBH & Co. KG D-37070 Gttingen 21509-11 1
LEP
Interference of acoustic waves, stationary waves
1.5.09
and diffraction at a slot with Cobra3
-11

## Stationary waves: experimental set up according to Fig. 2. Procedure

Diffraction: The experimental set-up is similar to the set-up Connect the Cobra3 Basic Unit to the computer port
for interference measurements. Only one sound head is COM1, COM2 or to USB port (use USB to RS232
used and two metal screens to make a slot before the Adapter). Start the measure program and select Cobra3
microphone. Force/Tesla Measurement Module.
Begin recording the measured values using the parame-
The silk thread is wound once over the bigger of the two ters given in Fig. 4.
thread grooves of the movement recorder. The cable of the
movement recorder is connected to the Cobra interface
according to Fig. 3. Fig. 4: Measuring parameters

Unit

red
black
yellow
BNC1
BNC2

## Fig. 2: Experimental set-up for the measurement of stationary waves.

2 21509-11 PHYWE series of publications Laboratory Experiments Physics PHYWE SYSTEME GMBH & Co. KG D-37070 Gttingen
LEP
Interference of acoustic waves, stationary waves
1.5.09
and diffraction at a slot with Cobra3
-11

To measure the path with the movement recorder, the big- Theory and evaluation
ger of the two thread grooves is used. For the calibration Interference:
of the movement recorder use the Options button, then Two acoustic emitter heads are used as acoustic sources
select Calibration distance (e.g. 30 cm) in Angle/Distance connected in parallel or in series to a signal generator.
window (see Fig. 5). Press <Start> button first then move Local distribution of the oscillating acoustic pressure is
the recorder slowly and regularly for the selected calibra- examined by means of a microphone which is shifted par-
tion distance and press <Stop> button finally. To conclude allel to the line joining the acoustic emitter heads. Due to
this procedure press <Calibrate> button in the Calibration the changing distances ra and r2 between the microphone
window. and the acoustic emitter heads, and the thus modified dif-
After the calibration select the frequency of the function ferent travelled distances of the waves, the latter superim-
generator (e.g. 3,4 kHz). The selection switch on the func- pose with different path differences at the point of meas-
tion generator is set to the left position (~). Set a mean sig- urement. If the acoustic emitter heads are operated at the
nal amplitude at the already switched on and warmed up same phase, the path difference results directly from the
function generator. difference between the travelled distances. If this differ-
Set the amplification on the measuring microphone to a ence is an even integer multiple of the wavelength M,
medium position. The selection switch on the microphone
is set to the right position (=). %r = n M , n = 0, 1, 2, ,
Set the barrel base to the initial position (interference:
microphone points to the centre between the two loud- the oscillating pressure amplitudes are added. In places
speakers stationary waves: microphone before the loud- where the above condition is fulfilled, pressure oscillation
speaker diffraction: shift the microphone before the slot). is maximum. If on the other hand the difference of the tra-
Start the measurement and move slowly (about 0.5 cm/s) velled distances is an odd integer multiple of the half
the microphone along the meter scale. Measurement wavelength,
points are only entered into the graph if the tread groove of
the movement recorder is moved. (2n 1) l
%r = , n = 1, 2, 3 ,
2

## the instant values of the oscillating acoustic pressure have

different signs. In this case, the total amplitude is the dif-
ference of the single amplitudes and displays a minimum.
The following is valid for the acoustic wavelength M:

M = c / f,

## According to Fig. 6, the following approximate relation is

Fig. 5: Calibration of the movement sensor
obtained for the path difference of the single waves:

%r =
s

a
and with sin B =
s

%r = d sinB.

## Fig. 6: Travelled lengths for interference.

PHYWE series of publications Laboratory Experiments Physics PHYWE SYSTEME GMBH & Co. KG D-37070 Gttingen 21509-11 3
LEP
Interference of acoustic waves, stationary waves
1.5.09
and diffraction at a slot with Cobra3
-11

One thus obtains for the angles under which peaks and mini- Stationary waves:
ma of the oscillating acoustic pressure occur: The acoustic waves emitted by an acoustic emitter head
are reflected in a reverberating manner on a metallic
nl screen, that is, the oscillating acoustic pressure is reflec-
sin Bmax = , n = 0, 1, 2, ted without phase shift. An intensity peak is measured at
d
the metallic plate (Fig. 8, right side). Incident and reflected
(2n 1) l waves follow the relation
sin Bmin = , n = 1, 2, 3,
2d
ct  x ct  x
l  A sin c 2 p a b d  A sin c 2 p a bd
The points of observation a are calculated according to l l

## a = l tan B. concerning the ideal assumption that the amplitudes of

both waves are identical. If the sum is converted to a pro-
duct according to the addition theorems of trigonometric
In Fig. 7 the intensity of the acoustic waves is plotted as a functions, one obtains:
function of distance. For the geometry of the present exam-
ple of measurement
2 px 2 pct
l = 0.8 m l  2A cos sin .
d = 0. 28 m l l
c = 345 m/s
f = 3.45 kHz This relation shows that all oscillating particles go through
zero at the moment
One obtains clear interference structure. The acoustic waves
extinguish one another in the middle between the two sound n l n
t  T, n  1, 2, 3, ...
heads. This is the case if the sound heads are operated not at 2 c 2
the same phase, but phase shift is about 180.
Amplitude which only depends on location

2px
2 A cos
l

## Fig. 7: Measurement example, interference structure for displays peaks when

phase shifted acoustic waves.
n
x= M , n = 1, 2, 3,
2

## is fulfilled. For a frequency f = 3.45 kHz, the wavelength

M = 0.1 m. If in Fig. 8 the average distance between the
peak is measured, one obtains for the present measure-
ment example, in good agreement with theory, a wave-
length M = 0.102 m.

Diffraction:
When a plane wave front meets a slot whose width is a
multiple of the wavelength, according to the Huygens-
Frensnel principle, the surface limited by the slot may be
considerer as location of many exciting points. The ele-
Fig. 8: Measurement example, stationary waves. mentary waves coming from them interfere and fill the
space behind the slot with a distribution of peaks and
minima of the oscillating acoustic pressure. The spatial
position of the interference structure can be calculated if
one imagines the slot subdivided into a number of stripes
of the same width. According to the number n of stripes,
the elementary waves coming from the exciting points
interfere under definite angles an in such a way that corre-
sponding waves amplify or extinguish one another.
Extinction is given for a slot width d and an acoustic wav-
length l when the following relation is valid:

nl
sin B = , n = 1, 2, 3, ,
d

4 21509-11 PHYWE series of publications Laboratory Experiments Physics PHYWE SYSTEME GMBH & Co. KG D-37070 Gttingen
LEP
Interference of acoustic waves, stationary waves
1.5.09
and diffraction at a slot with Cobra3
-11

## Amplification occurs in the direction of propagation of the Indications

acoustic wave, that is, for B = 0 as well as for the angle B The results of all partial experiments depend stronly on the
with acoustic characteristics of the environment. The following
points should be taken into account:
(2n  1) l In the case of experiments which last longer, it is recom-
sin B = , n = 1, 2, 3, .
2d mended to work with acoustic frequencies above the hear-
ing limit of about 16 kHz, if experimental conditions will
that is, the interference peaks and minima are situated on allow it, in order to keep disturbances due to noise as low
straight lines going through the middle of the slot. The as possible.
angle by the lines depends on the relation between the If the corresponding geometric conditions are modified,
wavelength and the width of the slot. The angle under the acoustic field should be scanned in large steps to start
which peaks and minima occur can be calculated accord- with, in order to have an idea of the shape of the acoustic
ing to Fig. 9 from fields.
a Vibrations of the table top generate acoustic waves which
tan B =
l may distort measurment results. Such types of disturbanc-
es can be avoided to a large extent, if power supply units
and can be compared to the previously named relations. and measuring instruments are set up as far as possible of
The following disposition was selected for this measure- the actual experimental set up. Especially, the fan of the
ment example: computer should not be near the microphone.
distance between Not only exterior accoustic sources, but also reflected
loudspeaker and slot 10 cm acoustic waves cause distortions of the actual measur-
distance between ment signal. All experiences should thus be carried out as
slot and microphone tip (l) 13 cm far away as possible from walls, cabinets, etc. Reflections
slot width (d) 5 cm on the experimenting table top can be damped by cover-
frequency 19.8 kHz ing the table top with sound absorbing material such as
cloth or foam rubber between acoustic source and micro-
For a room temperature of 22 C and a speed of sound phone. Such reflections can be avoided altogether if it is
c = 345 m/s, one obtains a wavelength M = 1.74 cm. possible to set up the acoustic source and the microphone
The microphone was shifted towards both sides up to a on the facing edges of two separate tables.
lateral distance a = 10 cm from the zero position. (If the Wavelength l and frequency f of the acoustic wave
available table surface is sufficient, it is recommended to depend on each other over the speed of sound c. The
choose a as large as possible!). Figure 10 shows the ampli- speed of sound itself is temperature dependent and can
tude distribution of a measurement example. The zero be calculated according to
order peak corresponds to position zero and the following
minima and peaks are disposed quite symmetrically about t m
this. c ( t ) = 333.1 1 ,
B 273 s
For the distance of the peaks of the first order a = 7.9 cm
is read from the Fig. 10. From the measurement geometry
one thus obtains where t must be expressed in C.
a = measured = 31.3
l = measured = 1.73 cm

## In good agreement with the theory

a = theoretic = 31.5
l = theoretic = 1.74 cm

Fig. 9: Geometric set up to evaluate acoustic diffraction. Fig. 10: Measurement example, diffraction at a slot.

PHYWE series of publications Laboratory Experiments Physics PHYWE SYSTEME GMBH & Co. KG D-37070 Gttingen 21509-11 5
LEP
Interference of acoustic waves, stationary waves
1.5.09
and diffraction at a slot with Cobra3
-11

6 21509-11 PHYWE series of publications Laboratory Experiments Physics PHYWE SYSTEME GMBH & Co. KG D-37070 Gttingen