Tuning Fork and Pipe with Water Problem


This topic is part of the HSC Physics course under the section Sound Waves.

HSC Physics Syllabus

  • investigate and model the behaviour of standing waves on strings and/or in pipes to relate quantitatively the fundamental and harmonic frequencies of the waves that are produced to the physical characteristics (eg length, mass, tension, wave velocity) of the medium (ACSPH072)

  • conduct an investigation to explore resonance in mechanical systems and the relationships between: 
– driving frequency 
– natural frequency of the oscillating system 
– amplitude of motion 
– transfer/transformation of energy within the system (ACSPH073) 

Resonance of Sound Wave in Pipe with Water

This video discusses a common physics problem involving the formation of a standing wave in an open pipe system containing water. Knowledge of resonance in a mechanical system and standing waves in pipes are required to attempt this problem.



A tuning fork is made to vibrate at the top of a pipe filled with water. The volume of sound changes as the water is drained out of the pipe. The water levels at which maximum volume of sound was produced were 0.66 m apart.



What is the frequency of the tuning fork?

Answer and explanation provided in the video.



RETURN TO MODULE 3: Waves and Thermodynamics