Physics 301 "Physics of Sound" Spring 2017

Exam grades are posted in the Gradebook. The average exam score is 78 out of 100.

The Final Project involves a writing assignment, as explained here. The Project is due on May 1.

Prerequisites: 01:750:204 OR 750:227 OR 750:272 OR 750:202 OR 750:194 OR 750:202
Instructor: Prof. Valery Kiryukhin, Serin 118, 848-445-8752, email: vkir -AT-
Office Hours: Wednesday 10 am - 11 am or by appointment
Lectures: Monday and Wednesday 1:55 PM - 2:50PM, Physics Lecture Hall
Labs: Wednesday (5:00 PM - 6:20 PM), Physics and Astronomy Building room 232
Lab instructor: Alemayehu Admasu, email: admasu -AT-
Homework grader: Alemayehu Admasu, email: admasu -AT-


Optional Reference:
The Science of Sound, 3rd edition by Rossing, Moore, and Wheeler.


The course consists of 2 lectures and 1 laboratory session each week.


Mondays and Wednesdays 1:55 PM - 2:50 PM, Physics Lecture Hall, Busch Campus.

Old lecture notes, made by Prof. Mekjian, are available here. These lectures contain a lot of the material covered at our lectures. However, many of the topics discussed there are not covered at our lectures, and vice versa. The point is: these lecture notes are useful as a supplementary meterial, and for self education. They are NOT a substitute for our lectures, however.


Wednesday (5:00 PM - 6:20 PM), Physics and Astronomy Building, Busch Campus, in room 232. The first lab will be on Jan 25 (no lab on Jan. 18). The lab schedule web page gives information on the lab experiments, including downloadable write-ups and report forms. Labs will need to be completed in class and handed in before you leave. Be sure to print out a copy of the write-up and report form beforehand, read it, and come to lab prepared!


An in-class exam, date to be determined. The final project.


Weekly or biweekly homework assignments will be announced during the lecture and posted here. The homework will be due at the beginning of lecture one week later. They will typically consist of 5 short problems or questions, and solutions will be posted here after the homework is collected.

Grading and Assessment:

Final grades will be based on the following elements:
Homework, Labs, Exam, Project with nominally equal wieghts. Class participation could add a few percentage points to the final score.
You may check your scores in Physics Department Gradebook.

Students with Disabilities:

If you have a disability, you are urged to speak to the course supervisor early in the semester to make the necessary arrangements to support a successful learning experience. Also, you must arrange for the course supervisor to receive a letter from your College's Disability Concerns Coordinator verifying that you have a disability. To find out how to do this, see

Lab Schedule and Manuals

All labs take place in Physics and Astronomy Building room 232

The order and content of the lab schedule and the lab manual is subject to change.

Jan 18 NO LAB; review Lab Policies
Jan 25 1. Introduction to Sound
Feb 1 2. Mechanical Resonance
Feb 8 3. Speed of Sound
Feb 15 4. Standing Waves on a String
Feb 22 5. Standing Waves in an Air Column
Mar 1 6. Interference of Sound Waves
Mar 8 7. Vibration of Plates & Bars
Mar 15 Spring Break
Mar 22 8. Intensity of Sound
Mar 29 9. Harmonics
Apr 5 10. Auditory Illusions
Apr 12 11. Audio Amplifier
Apr 19 TBD
Apr 26 TBD

Note that, in the event of a snow day, the lab will be pushed back one week.

Supplementary Material:

Vibrations and normal modes:


Fourier program and applets:

Voice and vocal formants:

Ear and hearing:

Music and musical instruments: