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I wish to find out the speed of sound in air, but I am having trouble thinking up an experiment to do so ? What materials will I need and how do you think I can possibly do it at home?
Question Date: 2012-09-17
Answer 1:

Most of the experiments you could do to measure the speed of sound in air require specialized equipment like tuning forks, resonance tubes, and oscilloscopes. However, I found an experiment that you can do by measuring echos. You only need a stopwatch, a way to roughly measure distance, and a surface that echos. You might also want to find a friend to help you make the measurements. This experiment looks like fun!

The general idea is that you can time how long it takes for a sound to travel to a wall and back and use that time and twice the distance to the wall to calculate the speed.

A description of the experiment can be found here:


I also copied the description into a Word document in case you cannot access the website.

The speed should be close to 343.2 meters per second (1,126 ft/s). If you do not get this answer exactly, that is to be expected. The speed of sound in air depends on many factors including the humidity, temperature, wind, and altitude.

If you have additional questions or do not understand the procedure, please feel free to ask me.

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