A student project on wind chimes. Tuning in to standing waves

G. William Baxter, Keith M. Hagenbuch
1998 The Physics Teacher  
A Student Project on Wind Chimes E very introductory physics class includes a discussion of standing waves. We wanted to offer our students an opportunity to earn bonus points by demonstrating their knowledge of this material. The project we developed involves constructing a set of wind chimes in which each hanging rod produces a clear tone, and the combination of rods generates a chord. The project is not concerned with exact pitches, but rather with standing waves and nodes and the correct
more » ... and the correct relationship between the pitches in the chord. Our students have enjoyed this project while learning something from it, and we thought that other physics teachers might want to consider the idea for use with their classes. This project can be done at many different levels, high school through college, depending on the mathematical knowledge of the class. Although wind chimes are commonly available and easily constructed, there is little in the physics literature about their design. 1,2 Discussions of the oscillation modes of free rods are more common in engineering literature; 3 "artistic" wind chimes appear to be constructed chiefly by trial and error.
doi:10.1119/1.880040 fatcat:alo36hsda5carg5luk4z7nvlwa