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We visit the Institute of Sound and Vibration Research in Southampton to see how powerful sound can be. The expert explains how sound is caused by vibrations. The loudness of a sound depends on the size of the vibration. The bigger the vibration, the louder the sound. The size of the vibration is called the amplitude. The bigger the amplitude, the louder the sound. A drum, polystyrene balls, a tower of blocks, a glass plate and a speaker are used to demonstrate the sound generated by vibrations, and how those vibrations are transferred to other objects.
This clip is from:
First broadcast:
17 May 2007

Classroom Ideas

Ask students to investigate a variety of natural disasters that manifest themselves by vibrations such as earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. Using scaled-down models, students could demonstrate the effects of varying vibrational magnitude.
Relate the ideas covered to human hearing. Students could research different sound levels and their effect on the human ear, including the damage caused by loud sounds. Study of hearing aids could also be carried out, with students investigating how they amplify sounds.

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