Physics of Bowed String

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Physics of Bowed String

Postby proscience » Tue Sep 18, 2012 6:05 pm


I want to get started on my science fair project, but I'm stuck on how to use Audacity shareware. I will be using the spectrum analysis tool.

I play the cello and I want to do an experiment that compares different types (brands) of strings and then correlating what I hear to the harmonics of the sound. I was going to measure the sound using Audacity's spectrum analysis tool. When I tried using the spectrum analysis tool the graph had dB and Hz on it. I know Hz is frequency, but is dB pitch or sound. Is sound or pitch the same as amplitude?

Can anyone help me with the settings so my Hz is in the 220 and up range rather than in the ten thousands range? I wanted to see if titanium, tungsten, or silver wrapped strings made a difference, but a physics teacher told me it would be too hard to measure.
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Project Question: I am doing the "Forensic Science: Building Your Own Tool for Identifying DNA" project for science fair this year. I want to see if peanuts and peas both have the same proteins that cause allergic reactions. How do I prepare the peanut and the pea for the experiment? I am doing this at home, so I need materials my mom can buy and I can use at home. Thank you.
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Re: Physics of Bowed String

Postby edneu3 » Thu Sep 20, 2012 8:43 am


This sounds like a really interesting science project that is bound to teach you a lot about the physics of vibration.

You asked about the Audacity program. I have used it in the past, but it was several years ago. I don't consider myself any kind of expert on that program. What I would recommend is to Google something like "how to use Audacity program". I did that and a lot of tutorial sites came up, including some YouTube videos.

Once you discover how to set up the program to measure what you need, be sure to do some research on the basic physics of vibration. Here are some suggestions you might want to study:

Good luck with your work and HAVE FUN!
Ed Neu
Buffalo, MN
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Re: Physics of Bowed String

Postby MelissaB » Fri Sep 21, 2012 4:57 am


Just to add to Ed's reply, db is 'decibels' which is, as you thought, a measure of the amplitude of the sound.
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