How Do I Measure The Speed Of Sound?

In this activity, we use the two microphones to measure how long it takes a sound wave to get from point A to point B. Here are some tips to help you get a more accurate measurement: 

  • Make sure the ear pucks are positioned correctly. Use the back page of the Activity Mat, and carefully place the ear pucks face down in the white outlines. This helps ensure that the microphones are exactly 25 cm apart, which is important for our speed of sound calculation.
  • Double-check to make sure the left ear puck goes on the left, and the right ear puck goes on the right.
  • When you’re ready to make a sound, clap next to the left ear puck. There should be an imaginary line that extends straight from your hands through both ear pucks.
  • If you clap above the left ear puck, or between the two ear pucks, your speed of sound measurement will be off.
  • The more precisely you position the ear pucks, and the more careful you are about clapping in the right place, the more accurate your measurement will be.

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