On the sound field radiated by a tuning fork

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28 Scopus citations


When a sounding tuning fork is brought close to the ear, and rotated about its long axis, four distinct maxima and minima are heard. However, when the same tuning fork is rotated while being held at arm's length from the ear only two maxima and minima are heard. Misconceptions concerning this phenomenon are addressed and the fundamental mode of the fork is described in terms of a linear quadrupole source. Measured directivity patterns in the near field and far field of several forks agree very well with theoretical predictions for a linear quadrupole. Other modes of vibration are shown to radiate as dipole and lateral quadrupole sources.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1139-1145
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Physics
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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