Student Edition
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  1. Frequency and period
  2. Oscillators
  3. Resonance
  4. Waves
  5. Wave interactions
  6. Interference
  7. Resonance and standing waves
  8. Sound waves
  9. The speed of sound and the Doppler effect
  10. The frequency spectrum
  11. Interference and beats
  12. Resonance and sound
  13. Musical sound


This module contains 13 lessons that provide a rich combination of hands-on investigations and interactive simulations for learning about harmonic motion (oscillations), waves, and sound. You will investigate properties of amplitude, period, frequency, wavelength, and wave speed, and distinguish between transverse and longitudinal waveforms. Interactive elements, such as the ripple tank simulation, allow you to explore wave behaviors such as reflection, refraction, diffraction, absorption, interference, and resonance, as well as the phenomena of standing waves. Sound waves are represented with several different types of graphs and charts, including waveform graphs, frequency spectrum graphs, and spectrogram charts. You will use interactive simulations to experiment with these representations and with the phenomena of beats and the Doppler effect. The module concludes with a project for designing a musical instrument.

Equipment and software

Waves and sound kit
11.8 m steel transverse wave spring
1Steel longitudinal wave spring
1Resonance tube
4Tuning forks (assorted)
1Mass hanger
20Washer masses
1Short spring
1Pendulum bob
1Resonance lever
1Mounting hanger

Also needed for two investigations:
Tripod stand (sold separately)


Physics of Sound is an application used in four of the investigations, and it requires installation. Instructions are provided below.

To install and run the application under MS Windows OS:

To install and run the application under Mac OS X:

End User License Agreement

By inserting the USB flash drive into your computer or mobile device, you agree to accept the terms of the End User License Agreement (EULA). Click here to see the end-user license agreement (EULA).