Chemistry & Physics

Dr. William Baird (physics) publishes a paper in The Physics Teacher.
Dr. William Baird, Associate Professor of Physics has published a paper with former undergraduate physics major William Hack in the journal The Physics Teacher.  The paper, published in the January 2012 issue on pages 45-47 is titled “Using a High Speed Camera to Measure the Speed of Sound”.  This manuscript describes an inexpensive and intuitive way for students to determine this important property in a laboratory setting.  Students calculate the speed of sound by counting video frames from a sound-triggered event they can see, namely a balloon which has been popped.  The distance the sound wave travels is measured from the balloon to the sound-activated high-output LED relative to the time (high speed camera) to determine the value of the speed of the wave.