Acoustic Propulsion

Sound is an integral part of our lives. We are constantly surrounded by sound, from the obnoxious honking of a car to the quiet chirping of a cricket. It helps us judge and react to our environments. Due to its natural presence in our daily lives, it is easy to overlook the incredible phenomenon that is sound. Most of us have likely not wondered: what is sound? Where does it come from? How does it travel?

The purpose of my project is two-fold: first, to illustrate the dazzling interplay between sound and resonance and second, to inspire young students by portraying the sheer beauty of physics. This project is designed as a presentation aimed at students from grades 7 to 10, though it can be tailored for older students as well. The presentation deals with the properties of sound and resonance followed by an actual demonstration of these principles. An introduction to sound, notes on the presentation and a guide to constructing the demonstration can all be found on this website.

The main goal of my demonstration is to display something that may not feel intuitive: sound is a form of energy. We typically associate sound with a sensation that we just hear — in my demonstration, I will challenge this perception by moving an entire system with just sound.