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ERIC Number: EJ896104
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Sep
Pages: 2
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 4
ISSN: ISSN-0031-921X
Hydromonochord: Visualizing String Vibration by Water Swirls
Sommer, Wilfried; Meier-Boke, Ralf; Meinzer, Nicholas
Physics Teacher, v48 n6 p370-371 Sep 2010
The hydromonochord is a horizontal vibrating string that just makes contact with the surface of a water bath. The motion of the string sets up a pattern of swirls on the surface of the water, thus complementing the usual pattern of nodes and antinodes. The device is based on the traditional monochord. A water basin (Fig. 1) has two slits in the opposite walls on the left-hand side, with the width of the slits equal to the diameter of the string. Consequently, the slits function as fixed bridges and form the nodes of a standing wave. The string is bowed or plucked on the part outside the basin, and the frequency is controlled by the position of the variable bridge on the right-hand end of the string. If the position of this bridge is related in a simple way with the length of the basin, patterns of swirls will occur on the surface of the water, visualizing the vibration of the string. We will present a series of experiments and show how to integrate them into the very first stage of teaching acoustics.
American Association of Physics Teachers. One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740. Tel: 301-209-3300; Fax: 301-209-0845; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A