Blowing Bottle Tops: Making Music with Glass Bottles

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Have you ever wondered why glass bottles made a sound, kind of like a music note? Well, this paper will explain how this works. The paper will be talking about sound, sound waves, standing waves, musical note names and frequencies, resonance, and closed-end air columns. Closed-end air columns will be a main focus in the paper, studying the physics behind it. Glass bottles are an example of a closed-end air column. Therefore, the more water inside the bottle, the lower the note, and less water would be a higher note. Closed-end air can be many things; ranging from brass instruments, woodwind instruments, organ pipes, and flutes. These closed-end air columns cannot produce an even harmonic. It has a 1st harmonic, 3rd harmonic, and fifth harmonic. These harmonics are can be understood as, the 2nd harmonic being twice that of the 1st, and the 4th being four times that of the 1st .

Sound is a wave, and a wave can be remembered as a medium, carrying energy from one point to another. The sound wave has a resemblance of a slinky in its nature, for many reasons. The disturbance goes from one place to another, carried by the medium. Typically, the medium will carry energy through the air, although it could be any substance like water and steel. There is an original source of the wave; anything from someone’s vibrating vocal chords, or a tuning fork. Then, the sound is transported through the medium through particle-to-particle interaction. If the sound wave is moving through the

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