Chapter 12: Questions

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  1. What is a longitudinal wave?

  2. How will the frequency of the sound used for echolocation affect the size of objects that can be detected? Will higher or lower frequencies allow for detection of smaller objects with echolocation?

  3. To the good ear of a careful listener, a difference can be heard when the same violin string is plucked at different locations. Why would this be?

  4. As a scale is played on a piano, from low to high, the pitch or frequency of the sound increases. What happens to the wavelength?

  5. For strings of the same length and tension, why would a heavier, thicker guitar string produce a lower pitch than a lighter, thinner one?

  6. In terms of standing waves, explain why long organ pipes produce sound of lower pitch than short pipes.

  7. In a good audio system, why is the low-frequency speaker (the woofer) much larger than the high-frequency speaker (tweeter)?

  8. If a guitar string is very lightly touched at its mid-point, the pitch heard will shift to an octave higher. Explain why.

  9. Why does the speed of sound increase with temperature?

  10. Why is the speed of sound so much greater in liquids and solids than in air?

  11. Why will the temperature in a concert hall affect the pitch of the instruments?

  12. Why do you see lightning before you hear the thunder it produces?

  13. In a very long parade, why will marchers at the back be seen to be out of step with marchers at the front?

  14. What is the same when you hear a high C played on a French horn and a high C played on a piano?

  15. Why does a high C played on a French horn sound different from a high C played on a piano?

  16. How many octaves are there on a standard piano keyboard?

  17. How many octaves are there in the norman range human hearing?

  18. How can an electronic keyboard-like an electric organ or a synthesizer-sound like various different musical instruments?

  19. How can the idea of beats be used in tuning an instrument?

  20. Suppose you stand at an intersection and listen to an ambulance as it approaches you and then goes away from you. Explain what you will hear.

  21. Why does a boat moving slowly through the water not have a bow wave but a faster moving boat does?

  22. Supersonic flights that are restricted over land are allowed over the ocean. Does this mean there is no pressure wave-or sonic boom-created over the ocean?

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