Acoustics: The Study of Sound

based on 14 ratings
Author: William C.



Purpose: The purpose of this experiment is to determine what kind of materials absorb sound waves of varying frequencies the most effectively.

Procedure: To test the sound insulation properties of each material, I used a enclosed box , to ensure a consistent environment for testing, a computer sine wave generation program, and a sound intensity meter. I placed each material in a the groove in the center of the box, then , using a speaker at a constant volume, would turn on the sine wave generator. I then took a reading of the sound level as measured by the sound meter, and compared each measurement to the original sound intensity, with no medium between speaker and meter, to determine that materials effectiveness.

Conclusion: I determined that the acoustical insulation material was the best and blocking the sound waves, this is that the material was designed to do, and this agrees with my hypothesis. The second best insulator was the wood plank, due to its density compared to the other materials used. 

Physical Science
12th Grade
Difficulty of the Project
Approximately $40
Safety Issues

The only safety issue in my project was that of extended exposure to loud sounds, and to counter this I wore ear protection for time which the experiments were taking place.

Time Taken To Complete the Project
The project took about 16 hour to complete.


This project was about testing and experimenting with different materials to find which material, and in general, which traits of materials make them the most effective at stopping the transmission of sound.

Materials and Equipment

One 12 foot long 2x4 board( to build the sound box)

                        Nails and Hammer ( to build to sound box)
                        Radio Shack Sound Level Meter
                        Computer Tone Generating Program
                        Acoustical Insulation
                        Tin Foil
                        Cotton Cloth(damp and dry)

All of these materials were either found at the local store, o on the internet, and all were readily available.

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