Department of Physics and Engineering
West Virginia Wesleyan College
Sound and Music Projects

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Sound travels differently through solids than gases. The velocity of sound in a solid is faster, and solids can support shear strain, so both longitudinal and transverse waves are present.

Ronald Shawver (2005) studied the physics of music, including the timbre, tone, and harmonic series of various musical instruments. He performed a Fourier analysis of the instruments and used his results to recreate the sound electronically.

Nathan Slavin (2003) performed an acoustic resonance experiment in metal rods. He used a microphone and computer to measure amplitude of sound versus frequency. He performed a Fourier analysis, which gave a dispersion relation that was linear for longitudinal waves but nonlinear for transverse waves.