Monday, October 18, 2010

The Musical Turkey Baster

Another physics in the kitchen, and this time, you get instructions on how to turn your turkey baster into a musical instrument. Hey, after all, here in the US, Thanksgiving is barely a month away.

Inside the tube of the turkey baster is a column, or chamber of air. When you blow over the edge of the turkey baster, its edge vibrates, compressing the air inside the tube at equal intervals. The compressed air moves down the column and bounces back toward the opening once it hits the water. By doing this, you have created a standing wave, a wave that remains at a constant position. When you change the water level, it changes the wavelength of the standing wave.

So you get to learn about sound in a standing wave with stuff you find around your house.


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