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
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
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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