Kundt's tube

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An apparatus designed by August Kundt (1839–94) in 1866 to measure the speed of sound in various fluids. It consists of a closed glass tube into which a dry powder (such as lycopodium) has been sprinkled. The source of sound in the original device was a metal rod clamped at its centre with a piston at one end, which is inserted into the tube. When the rod is stroked, sound waves generated by the piston enter the tube. If the position of the piston in the tube is adjusted so that the gas column is a whole number of half wavelengths long, the dust will be disturbed by the resulting stationary waves forming a series of striations, enabling distances between nodes to be measured. The vibrating rod can be replaced by a small loudspeaker fed by an oscillator.

Subjects: Physics.

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