Speed of Light
Light, Sound and Waves

Home-based physics resources to support remote teaching of Light, Sound and Waves

Remote teaching support for 11-14 14-16 16-19

A collection of resources on the topic of light, sound and waves to help support teachers and students whilst educating remotely.

Health and Safety Guidance:

These experiments have been selected by trained teachers as appropriate for use at home, but we have not specifically tested them for home use.

All experiments are carried out at your own risk.

To avoid risk of injury or damage, we recommend that you follow the instructions as shown, and that a responsible adult supervises all practical activity and considers the suitability of each task for their child.

Teachers proposing to recommend any resources to their students should:

  1. work within safety policies established by their school;

  2. use their professional judgement to assess the suitability of experiments for their own students;

  3. direct students and their parents/guardians to follow all stated instructions.

Visible Light
Light Sound and Waves

Videos (age 11-14, KS3) to support the remote teaching and learning of Light, Sound and Waves

Remote teaching support for 11-14

A selection of videos to use with your KS3 students (ages 11-14) to support and develop their understanding of Light, Sound and Waves whilst educating remotely.

Rainbow in a Jar - this video includes some of the colours of light and the order they appear in the visible light spectrum, but there's also another piece of physics at play here - the presenter asks watchers to comment on this on the video!

Musical box

Mouth organ lollies - a great one to also try at home!

The human ear

Auditory range - you can use this video to test your auditory range at home!

The Eye 

Careers videos

Here is a video to learn about one of the careers that involve using knowledge of waves.

Reflection
Light Sound and Waves

Videos (age 14-16, KS4) to support the remote teaching and learning of Light, Sound and Waves

Remote teaching support for 14-16

A selection of videos to use with your KS4 students (ages 14-16) to support and develop their understanding of Light, Sound and Waves whilst educating remotely.

Mirror images

Drawing lens ray diagrams

You can download this sheet that goes with the video:

Worksheet for drawing lens diagrams

The eye

A simple wave machine

The Doppler Effect - students could very carefully try this at home using a mobile phone instead of a buzzer (and a tone generator such as found in the free Physics Toolbox Suite app)

Measuring the speed of sound in air (a recommended app to use with this is Phyphox and the Audio Spectrum function).

 The human ear

Auditory range - you can use this video to test your auditory range at home!

An introduction to the Electromagnetic Spectrum - in addition to this video, the Nasa website also has additional pages and videos to explore each part of the electromagnetic spectrum individually.

Dispersion and rainbows

Earthquakes and seismographs - a nice introduction before leading into the topic of S & P waves. Some questions for S & P waves can be found on Isaac Physics.

Seismic waves

 

Careers videos

Here is a video to learn about one of the careers that involve using knowledge of waves.

Speed of Sound
Light Sound and Waves

Videos (age 16-19, KS5) to support the remote teaching and learning of Light, Sound and Waves

Remote teaching support for 16-19

A selection of videos to use with your KS5 students (ages 16-19) to support and develop their understanding of Light, Sound and Waves whilst educating remotely.

The Doppler Effect - students could very carefully try this at home using a mobile phone instead of a buzzer (and a tone generator such as found in the free Physics Toolbox Suite app).

Measuring the speed of sound in air (a recommended app to use with this is Phyphox and the Audio Spectrum function).

Diamonds and glass

Waves on a string

Diffraction grating from a teabag

Diffraction

Wave interference

Dispersion and rainbows

The human eye and lenses (for optional Medical module)

Careers videos

Here is a video to learn about one of the careers that involve using knowledge of waves.

Sound Wave
Light Sound and Waves

Home experiments and online simulations (age 11-14, KS3) to support the remote teaching and learning of Light, Sound and Waves

Remote teaching support for 11-14

A selection of home experiments and online simulations that are suitable to use with your students aged 11-14 (KS3) whilst educating remotely to support and develop their understanding of Light, Sound and Waves. Online simulations of experiments that students would not be able to replicate easily at home are shown in italic. This page will be updated and added to regularly.

Health and Safety Guidance:

These experiments have been selected by trained teachers as appropriate for use at home, but we have not specifically tested them for home use.

All experiments are carried out at your own risk.

To avoid risk of injury or damage, we recommend that you follow the instructions as shown, and that a responsible adult supervises all practical activity and considers the suitability of each task for their child.

Teachers proposing to recommend any resources to their students should:

  1. work within safety policies established by their school;

  2. use their professional judgement to assess the suitability of experiments for their own students;

  3. direct students and their parents/guardians to follow all stated instructions.

Light:

Sound:

  • Soundmeter apps (The link provided takes students to a free download of a 'software oscilloscope' that uses a computer's sound card) can help students to learn about the effect of distance and insulating materials on amplitude. It can also be compared to Slink-o-scope to explain why a transverse graph is drawn to show displacement for a longitudinal sound wave.
  • Dancing Sprinkles can be used to introduce the idea that sound is a vibration of the air.
  • Marvin and Milo Musical Coathangers shows how volume is affected by the material the sound wave travels through (can also be done with roasting racks or by dropping a metal slinky with strings attached).
  • Marvin and Milo Milk Bottle Orchestra explores how the amount of material that vibrates affects the sound produced (bonus points if you can get a selection of bottles together and play a tune!).
  • Marvin and Milo Sound of Gas demonstrates how the speed and pitch of a sound produced is affected by the material it travels through.
  • Measuring the speed of sound using echoes gives a method for students to do just that! This also helps to reinforce some of the key points used in speed/distance/time ultrasound calculations.
  • Teaching Sound Waves pull-out (from Classroom Physics) puts a few sound experiments together and includes a student sheet to help summarise key points.

General/other Waves: 

  • Soundmeter apps (The link provided takes students to a free download of a 'software oscilloscope' that uses a computer's sound card) can help students to learn about the effect of distance and insulating materials on amplitude. It can also be compared to Slink-o-scope to explain why a transverse graph is drawn to show displacement for a longitudinal sound wave. 
  • PhET waves intro has three animations that link to water waves, sound and light and introduce the terms frequency and amplitude. 
Reflection
Light Sound and Waves

Home experiments and online simulations (age 14-16, KS4) to support the remote teaching and learning of Light, Sound and Waves

Remote teaching support for 14-16

A selection of home experiments and online simulations that are suitable to use with your students aged 14-16 (KS3) whilst educating remotely to support and develop their understanding of Light, Sound and Waves. Online simulations of experiments that students would not be able to replicate easily at home are shown in italic. This page will be updated and added to regularly.

Health and Safety Guidance:

These experiments have been selected by trained teachers as appropriate for use at home, but we have not specifically tested them for home use.

All experiments are carried out at your own risk.

To avoid risk of injury or damage, we recommend that you follow the instructions as shown, and that a responsible adult supervises all practical activity and considers the suitability of each task for their child.

Teachers proposing to recommend any resources to their students should:

  1. work within safety policies established by their school;

  2. use their professional judgement to assess the suitability of experiments for their own students;

  3. direct students and their parents/guardians to follow all stated instructions.

Light:

Sound:

  • Teaching Sound Waves pull-out (from Classroom Physics) puts a few sound experiments together and includes a student sheet to help summarise key points.
  • Measuring the speed of sound using echoes gives a method for students to do just that! This also helps to reinforce some of the key points used in speed/distance/time ultrasound calculations.
  • Soundmeter apps (The link provided takes students to a free download of a 'software oscilloscope' that uses a computer's sound card) can be compared to Slink-o-scope to explain why a transverse graph is drawn to show displacement for a longitudinal sound wave.

General/other Waves: 

  • Soundmeter apps (The link provided takes students to a free download of a 'software oscilloscope' that uses a computer's sound card) can be compared to Slink-o-scope to explain why a transverse graph is drawn to show displacement for a longitudinal sound wave.
  • PhET waves intro has three animations that link to water waves, sound and light and introduce the terms frequency and amplitude. The water wave animation can also be used to replicate part of the GCSE waves required practical.
  • Measuring the wavelength and speed of water waves using method 2 (can be done using baking trays or other suitable rectangular containers) gives an alternative to one part of the wave speed required practical - which can therefore be completed at home.
  • Measuring the speed of a wave in a solid (for Edexcel) is described and demonstrated on BBC Bitesize.
  • Marvin and Milo Eerie Blue Water - considers how sunlight contains some different parts of the electromagnetic spectrum other than just visible light.
  • Marvin and Milo Pouring Light looks at total internal reflection (and can link to teaching communications and the electromagnetic spectrum).
  • PhET Wave on a string explores a model for a transverse wave and looks at different factors that can be changed (if you get the settings right you should be able to produce a standing wave, which ties in nicely to required practicals at both GCSE)
  • PhET radio waves and electromagnetic fields looks at how radio waves can be produced and how radio waves can induce an alternating current.
  • PhET Blackbody spectrum enables students to investigate the effect of changing the temperature on the blackbody curve produced. 
Oscillating String
Light Sound and Waves

Home experiments and online simulations (age 16-19, KS5) to support the remote teaching and learning of Light, Sound and Waves

Remote teaching support for 16-19

A selection of home experiments and online simulations that are suitable to use with your students aged 16-19 (KS5) whilst educating remotely to support and develop their understanding of Light, Sound and Waves. Online simulations of experiments that students would not be able to replicate easily at home are shown in italic. This page will be updated and added to regularly.

Health and Safety Guidance:

These experiments have been selected by trained teachers as appropriate for use at home, but we have not specifically tested them for home use.

All experiments are carried out at your own risk.

To avoid risk of injury or damage, we recommend that you follow the instructions as shown, and that a responsible adult supervises all practical activity and considers the suitability of each task for their child.

Teachers proposing to recommend any resources to their students should:

  1. work within safety policies established by their school;

  2. use their professional judgement to assess the suitability of experiments for their own students;

  3. direct students and their parents/guardians to follow all stated instructions.

 

  • Soundmeter apps (The link provided takes students to a free download of a 'software oscilloscope' that uses a computer's sound card) can be compared to Slink-o-scope to explain why a transverse graph is drawn to show displacement for a longitudinal sound wave.
  • PhET waves intro has three animations that link to water waves, sound and light and introduce the terms frequency and amplitude.
  • Marvin and Milo Eerie Blue Water - could be used to consider the excitation and de-excitation of electrons (a nice link to how a fluorescent light works!).
  • PhET Wave on a string explores a model for a transverse wave and looks at different factors that can be changed (if you get the settings right you should be able to produce a standing wave, which links to an A-level required practical.
  • PhET radio waves and electromagnetic fields looks at how radio waves can be produced and how radio waves can induce an alternating current.
  • PhET Blackbody spectrum enables students to investigate the effect of changing the temperature on the blackbody curve produced. 
  • Eye defects simulation from 'Physics at Home' explores reasons for eye defects and how to correct them (optional Medical module)
  • Double-slit simulation from 'Physics at Home' enables students to complete this experiment at home (with wave front visuals also included).
Visible Light
Light Sound and Waves

Questions to check understanding and support the remote teaching and learning of Light, Sound and Waves

Remote teaching support for 11-14 14-16 16-19

A selection of question sets and worksheets to use with your students to support and develop their understanding of light, sound and waves whilst educating remotely. This page will be updated and added to regularly.

For students aged 11-14:

  • Best Evidence Science Teaching (BEST) - A selection of diagnostic questions (with solutions and suggestions on how to tackle misconceptions) to use with students. A brief selection of some of these questions are given below, however there are many more available on the website (available in both in editable Word and PowerPoint formats). Please note: You may need to create a free STEM Learning account to gain full access to these resources.
  • Who can see who? - An interactive simulation from The Physics Classroom that investigates the law of reflection (with built in questions).
  • Stage Lighting - Another interactive simulation from The Physics Classroom that investigates how coloured surfaces appear in different coloured light.

For students aged 14-16:

For students aged 16-19:

  • Teaching Advanced Physics resources feature many question sets to use with your students.
  • Question boards on Isaac Physics - A variety of online questions (automatic checking of answers included). They can be accessed without signing up for account, but the free teacher and student accounts allow you to set assignments for your classes. Some examples of the KS5 waves question boards are given below.

More resources, selected for remote use with your students, can be found in COVID-19 support.

 

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