Have you ever been to a concert and seen an American Sign Language interpreter signing the song lyrics alongside the performer? While it may seem unusual that someone who can’t hear a musical act would attend a concert, that’s actually an inaccurate supposition; thanks to the vibrations the music provides, deaf audience members can hear the music pretty well! But how does this happen? Aren’t vibrations something you feel, not something you hear? During today’s investigation, you will experience how sound moves and is received by listeners.
While the history of “sound science” is broad and many famous scientists have made important contributions, it is Leonardi DaVinci who is generally credited with discovering that sound actually travels in waves. However, in the 17th century, Galileo made great advancements into how we perceive sound and how sound travels. He found out about frequency of sound, and how that determines pitch. If the vibrations of a sound happen far apart, the sound will have a low frequency and sound deep. If the vibrations are close together, that will create a high-pitched sound. The way that humans perceive these vibrations is something we will explore in this experiment.
This experiment was selected for Science at Home because it teaches NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas, which have broad importance within or across multiple science or engineering disciplines.
Learn more about how this experiment is based in NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas.