Search Front Door Kitchen SoundGarden CoffeeShop Resource Room Kids Create! Gallery Go Back Moving Waves  What happens when sound travels?

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As you enter you see a discovery path that leads by the edge of the pond. As you move closer to the water you see a small pile of pebbles and are grabbed with the sudden urge to cast one into the water (don't scare the ducks!). But this isn't ordinary water, as your pebble hits the pond's surface, you see a multi-colored 3D wave ripple out from all directions and slowly fade into the distance. Cool! Could this have something to do with solving the mystery of how sound travels?

Further down the path you see a Giant Tuning Fork, a Sound Prism, a Railroad Crossing, and a Giant Sea Shell. The faint sound of wind chimes can be heard (29") like rustling leaves.

To continue your visit check out the following online activities:


Sound energy, once created, travels away from its source at a high speed (@770 mph in air at sea level). The energy spreads out like the ripples from a pebble splashing into a pond. Luckily the energy diminishes as it travels away from its source.

Can you imagine what it would be like if sound never faded away?

Activity: Does sound energy need a medium to travel?

Activity: Does sound energy travel in waves?

Activity: What is the speed of sound?

Activity: How does the harmonic series effect the speed of sound?

Activity: What are echoes & reverberation?

Activity: The Doppler Effect: what happens when a sound source is traveling?

Activity: Resonance & Sympathetic Vibration: can sound get louder naturally, without electronic amplification?

Activity: Beats, Interference (moiré patterns), Reflection, Refraction, Absorption: what else happens when sound travels?

Activity: Difference & Summation Tones: what happens when you combine different sounds?

Activity: The Inverse Square Law: how fast does sound fade away into silence?

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"Just take a pebble,
and cast it to the sea.
Then watch the ripples,
that unfold into to me."

Greg Lake


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