Physics 301 "Physics of Sound" Spring 2016

Instructor: Prof. Aram Mekjian, Serin 213, 848-445-8776, email:
Office Hour: Wednesday 10 am - 11 am or by appointment
Lectures: Monday and Wednesday 1:55 PM - 2:50PM, Physics Lecture Hall
Labs: Wednesday (5:00 PM - 6:20 PM), Physics and Astronomy Building room 232
Lab instructor: Alemayehu Admasu, email:
Homework grader: Alemayehu Admasu, email:


Optional Reference:
The Science of Sound, 3rd edition by Rossing, Moore, and Wheeler. (Available from the Rutgers Bookstore, or online e.g., at and ) and lecture notes.


The course consists of 2 lectures and 1 laboratory session each week.


Mondays and Wednesdays 1:55 PM - 2:50 PM, Physics Lecture Hall, Busch Campus.


Wednesday (5:00 PM - 6:20 PM), Physics and Astronomy Building, Busch Campus, in room 232. The first lab will be on Jan 27 (no lab on Jan. 20). The lab schedule web page gives information on the lab experiments, including downloadable write-ups and report forms. Labs will need to be completed in class and handed in before you leave. Be sure to print out a copy of the write-up and report form beforehand, read it, and come to lab prepared!


To be determined.


Weekly or biweekly homework assignments will be announced during the lecture and/or emailed. The homework will be due at the beginning of lecture one week later. They will typically consist of 5 short problems or questions, and solutions will be posted out or emailed after all homeworks are collected.

Grading and Assessment:

Final grades will be based on the following elements:
To be determined.
You may check your scores here.

Students with Disabilities:

If you have a disability, you are urged to speak to the course supervisor early in the semester to make the necessary arrangements to support a successful learning experience. Also, you must arrange for the course supervisor to receive a letter from your College's Disability Concerns Coordinator verifying that you have a disability. To find out how to do this, see

Lab Schedule and Manuals

All labs take place in Physics and Astronomy Building room 232

The order and content of the lab schedule and the lab manual is subject to change.

Jan 20 NO LAB; review Lab Policies
Jan 27 1. Introduction to Sound
Feb 3 2. Mechanical Resonance
Feb 10 3. Speed of Sound
Feb 17 4. Standing Waves on a String
Feb 24 5. Standing Waves in an Air Column
Mar 2 6. Interference of Sound Waves
Mar 9 7. Vibration of Plates & Bars
Mar 16 Spring Break
Mar 23 8. Intensity of Sound
March 30 9. Harmonics
Apr 6 10. Auditory Illusions
Apr 13 11. Audio Amplifier
Apr 20 TBD
Apr 27 TBD

Note that, in the event of a snow day, the lab will be pushed back one week.

Supplementary Material:

Vibrations and normal modes:


Fourier program and applets:

Voice and vocal formants:

Ear and hearing:

Music and musical instruments: