Basketballs as spherical acoustic cavities

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The sound field resulting from striking a basketball is found to be rich in frequency content, with over 50 partials in the frequency range of 0-12 kHz. The frequencies are found to closely match theoretical expectations for standing wave patterns inside a spherical cavity. Because of the degenerate nature of the mode shapes, explicit identification of the modes is not possible without internal investigation with a microphone probe. A basketball proves to be an interesting application of a boundary value problem involving spherical coordinates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number011003AJP
Pages (from-to)549-554
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Physics
Issue number6
StatePublished - May 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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