Tuning Fork Lab

by Liz LaRosa




Procedure :

  1. Take a tuning fork and hit it on a rubber stopper. Listen carefully to the sound produced. Repeat until you have heard all 4 forks. Do not hit the forks on any other surfaces!
  2. Rank the sounds from highest to lowest.
  3. Now place a tuning fork on the thick block of wood. Listen to the wood, compare the sound. Repeat for all four.
  4. Repeat for thin block.
  5. Place a tuning fork , upside down, into the low cup of water, record behavior of water. Have your partner hold the cup next to their ear, then place fork in water, how does the sound compare? Repeat for all 4 and heights of water.
Data : 

Table 1 - Observations (3/4 page)

Tuning Fork (Hz)

Sound (High, Med, Low)

Thick Block of Wood

Thin Block of Wood

Low Water Level

Med Water Level

High Water Level

Wavelength in meters





Analysis/Results :

  1. Which tuning fork had the highest sound?
  2. Lowest sound?
  3. How did the sounds relate to the frequencies?
  4. What happened to the sound when it traveled through the thick wood?
  5. Thin wood?
  6. What happened to the water when you placed the forks in?
  7. Which fork was the most reactive?
  8. Describe what happened to the sounds in the different heights of water.
  9. You know the frequency of each tuning fork, find the speed of sound through air in meters per second (on a nice day!), use the appropriate equation and find the wavelength for each fork. Show all calculations!


2-3 sentence on what you learned