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Let's See and Hear Some Sound Waves

With an at Home Experiment from Clark Planetarium
Posted at 1:47 PM, Sep 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-24 15:47:38-04

SALT LAKE CITY — Creating waves is super cool, weather you are doing it in a pool with water or in a stadium full of fans. Any way you cut it; waves show us how energy moves from one point to another. So to demonstrate wave movement at home, all you need is a few basic products that will not only allow you to hear sound waves but see how they are created. Enter, the String and the Cup experiment.

What You Will Need:

A paper or plastic cup

A length of string (not nylon)

A paperclip

A damp paper towel

Experiment Set Up:

Tie your string onto the middle of the paperclip.

Poke a hole in the bottom of your cup. Make sure the paper clip can’t fit through the hole.

Thread the end of the string without the paper clip through the hole in the bottom of the cup.

Pull the string all the way through till the paper clip is sitting on the outside bottom of the cup.

Hold the cup upside down, with the string dangling down from the middle.

Finally, take the damp paper towel and pull down on the string.

What you will get is a nice chicken sound and you get a visual demonstration of a sound wave being produced. And you get to hear and see how that sound wave is amplified, reflected and bounced by the cup.

Pretty simple and pretty cool, right?

You can find more experiments at