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This interactive simulation allows students to explore the properties of sound waves.  Frequency and amplitude can be controlled, and students can enable audio tones to explore how pitch is related to frequency.  Other options allow users to experiment with constructive and destructive interference by moving positions of speakers and listeners. Tools are also provided to measure wavelengths of various frequencies. Experimenting with interference from a wall and exploring sound in environments without air pressure are also possible.

This simulation is part of a large and growing collection developed by the Physics Educational Technology Project using research-based principles.

See the Related Materials below for a link to clicker questions and tutorials designed specifically for this simulation by the PhET team.

Please note that this resource requires Java.
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Oscillations & Waves
- Acoustics
= Pitch
- Sound Reproduction
- Wave Motion
= Wave Properties of Sound
- High School
- Lower Undergraduate
- Middle School
- Informal Education
- Instructional Material
= Activity
= Interactive Simulation
- Audio/Visual
= Sound
Appropriate Courses Categories Ratings
- Physical Science
- Physics First
- Conceptual Physics
- Algebra-based Physics
- AP Physics
- Activity
- New teachers
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Intended Users:
Access Rights:
Free access
© 2005 PHET and University of Colorado
Additional information is available.
amplitude, frequency, harmonic content, interference, longitudinal waves, pitch, sound, sound waves, two source interference, wave, wave period, wave structure
Record Cloner:
Metadata instance created October 22, 2006 by Gifford Weber
Record Updated:
August 18, 2016 by Lyle Barbato
Last Update
when Cataloged:
August 11, 2008
Other Collections:

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Record Link
AIP Format
, Version 2.05.03 (Physics Education Technology Project, Boulder, 2005), WWW Document, (https://phet.colorado.edu/en/simulation/sound).
PhET Simulation: Sound, , Version 2.05.03 (Physics Education Technology Project, Boulder, 2005), <https://phet.colorado.edu/en/simulation/sound>.
APA Format
PhET Simulation: Sound. (2008, August 11). Retrieved January 19, 2018, from Physics Education Technology Project: https://phet.colorado.edu/en/simulation/sound
Chicago Format
Physics Education Technology Project. PhET Simulation: Sound. Boulder: Physics Education Technology Project, August 11, 2008. https://phet.colorado.edu/en/simulation/sound (accessed 19 January 2018).
MLA Format
PhET Simulation: Sound. Vers. 2.05.03. Boulder: Physics Education Technology Project, 2005. 11 Aug. 2008. 19 Jan. 2018 <https://phet.colorado.edu/en/simulation/sound>.
BibTeX Export Format
@misc{ Title = {PhET Simulation: Sound}, Publisher = {Physics Education Technology Project}, Volume = {2018}, Number = {19 January 2018}, Month = {August 11, 2008}, Year = {2005} }
Refer Export Format

%T PhET Simulation: Sound
%D August 11, 2008
%I Physics Education Technology Project
%C Boulder
%U https://phet.colorado.edu/en/simulation/sound
%O 2.05.03
%O application/java

EndNote Export Format

%0 Electronic Source
%D August 11, 2008
%T PhET Simulation: Sound
%I Physics Education Technology Project
%V 2018
%N 19 January 2018
%7 2.05.03
%8 August 11, 2008
%9 application/java
%U https://phet.colorado.edu/en/simulation/sound

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PhET Simulation: Sound:

Is Supplemented By PhET Teacher Ideas & Activities: EM Wave Analogy Tutorial

This introductory tutorial with related problem sets was designed specifically to be used with PhET Waves simulations.  It is a PhET Gold Star winner.

relation by Caroline Hall
Is Supplemented By PhET Teacher Ideas & Activities: Wave Unit

A complete unit of instruction on the topic of Waves, created by a high school teacher.  It was designed to be used with interactive simulations developed by PhET.

relation by Caroline Hall
Is Supplemented By PhET Teacher Ideas & Activities: Wave Demonstrations: Water, Sound, Light

A set of inquiry-based classroom demonstrations for high school physics developed by the PhET team for use with the simulation "Sound".

relation by Caroline Hall
Is a Teaching Guide For Physics Classroom: The Speed of Sound

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