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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 19.djvu/341

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PRODUCTION OF SOUND BY RADIANT ENERGY.
DISTANCE FROM FOCAL POINT OF LENS AT WHICH SOUNDS BECOME INAUDIBLE WITH DIFFERENT SUBSTANCES.
Metres.
Zinc diaphragm (polished) 1·51
Hardrubber diaphragm 1·90
Tinfoil " 2·00
Telephone " (japanned iron) 2·15
Zinc " (unpolished) 2·15
White silk, (in receiver shown in Fig. 1.) 3·10
White worsted, " " " 4·01
Yellow worsted, " " " 4·06
Yellow silk, " " " 4·13
White cottonwool, " " " 4·38
Green silk, " " " 4·52
Blue worsted, " " " 4·69
Purple silk, " " " 4·82
Brown silk, " " " 5·02
Black silk, " " " 5·21
Red silk, " " " 5·24
Black worsted, " " " 6·50
Lampblack. In receiver the limit of audibility could not be determined, on account of want of space. Sound perfectly audible at a distance of. 10·00

Mr. Tainter was convinced from these experiments that this field of research promised valuable results, and he at once debased an apparatus for studying the effects, which he described to me upon my return from Europe. The apparatus has since been constructed, and I take great pleasure in showing it to you to-day.

1. A beam of light is received by two similar lenses (A B, Fig. 10), which bring the light to a focus on either side of the interrupting disk (C). The two substances, whose sonorous powers are to be compared, are placed in the receiving vessels (D E) (so arranged as to expose equal surfaces to the action of the beam) which communicate, by flexible tubes (F G) of equal length, with the common hearing-tube (H). The receivers (D E) are placed upon slides, which can be moved along the graduated supports (I K). The beams of light passing through the interrupting disk (C); are alternately cut off by the swinging of a pendulum (L). Thus a musical tone is produced alternately from the substance in D and from that in E. One of the receivers is kept at a constant point upon its scale, and the other receiver is moved toward or from the focus of its beam until the ear decides that the sounds produced from D and E are of equal intensity. The relative positions of the receivers are then noted.

2. Another method of investigation is based upon the production of an interference of sound, and the apparatus employed is shown in Fig. 11. The interrupter consists of a tuning-fork (A, Fig. 11, ), which is kept in continuous vibration by means of an electro-magnet (B).

A powerful beam of light is brought to a focus between the prongs