A few students may not think of sound as traveling at all.

Light, Sound and Waves

Misconception RESEARCH REVIEW

Resources to Address This

  • How are we able to hear? (11-14)

    Ref - SPT So01PN02

    So, how is it that you are able to hear the radio playing in all parts of the house or the bacon sizzling or the notes from the guitarist at a concert? The guitarist is up there on the stage and you are in the audience. What happens to allow you to hear the sounds from the guitar, which is at least 20 metre away?

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  • "Starting points on sound, light and other radiations  (14-16)

    Ref - SPT Ra01TL02

    There is a strong sense of something, like a car, starting at the explosion and travelling to Steve's ear. In fact, this is not the case. Nothing of substance travels in a sound wave as the vibration is passed on from each chunk of air to the adjacent chunks.

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  • Episode 309: Generating waves  (16-19)

    Ref - Practical physics; Teaching vibrations and waves;

    Use the slinky spring to show longitudinal pulses. Fix one end to a retort stand, and quickly push the free end back and forth, along the length of the spring. Watch the motion of the marked coil. It moves to and fro as the disturbance is passed along.

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References

The following studies have documented this misconception:

  • Lautrey, J. & K. Mazens, () Is children’s naive knowledge consistent? A comparison of the concepts of soundand heat, Learning and Instruction, 14, Elsevier,

    399–423.

    Review sheet

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