Physics 301 "Physics of Sound" Spring 2018

Please check the updated due dates for Homework 6-8, as well as the updated lab schedule.

Prerequisites: 01:750:204 OR 750:227 OR 750:272 OR 750:202 OR 750:194 OR 750:202
Instructor: Prof. Valery Kiryukhin, Serin 118, 848-445-8752, email: vkir -AT-
Office Hours: 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: admasu -AT-
Homework grader: Alemayehu Admasu, email: admasu -AT-


Optional Reference:
The Science of Sound, 3rd edition by Rossing, Moore, and Wheeler.


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.

No lecture notes will be provided. Old lecture notes, made by Prof. Mekjian, are available here. These lectures contain a lot of the material covered in our lectures. However, many of the topics discussed there are not covered at our lectures, and vice versa. The point is: these lecture notes are useful as a supplementary meterial, and for self education. They are NOT a substitute for our lectures, however. Therefore, please attend the lectures.


Wednesday (5:00 PM - 6:20 PM), Physics and Astronomy Building, Busch Campus, in room 232. The first lab will be on Jan 24 (no lab on Jan. 17). The lab schedule (see below) 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!


(1) An in-class exam in April, the date to be determined. (2) The Final Project. The Project involves a writing assignment, as explained here. The Project is due on April 30, by 6 pm.


Weekly or biweekly homework assignments will be announced during the lecture and posted here. 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 here after the homework is collected.

Grading and Assessment:

Final grades will be based on the following elements:
Homework 25%, Labs 25%, Exam 30%, Project 20%. Class participation could add a few percentage points to the final score.
You may check your scores in Physics Department Gradebook.

Students with Disabilities:

If you have a disability, please read the important information regarding the disability services, as well as student-wellness services, at this link.

Student-Wellness Services, Course Policies, and Student Resourses:

Please read the information at this link.

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 17 NO LAB; review Lab Policies
Jan 24 1. Introduction to Sound
Jan 31 2. Mechanical Resonance
Feb 7 3. Speed of Sound
Feb 14 4. Standing Waves on a String
Feb 21 5. Standing Waves in an Air Column
Feb 28 6. Interference of Sound Waves
Mar 7 No Lab
Mar 14 Spring Break
Mar 21 10. Auditory Illusions
Mar 28 7. Vibration of Plates & Bars
Apr 4 8. Intensity of Sound
Apr 11 11. Audio Amplifier
Apr 18 9. Harmonics
Apr 25 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: