Acoustics and Vibration Animations is a large collection of animations that describe the behavior of sound and other wave and acoustic properties. The site includes a short explanation of each animation topic. The site also includes links to related topics. The acoustic and vibration topics are grouped into two categories, Acoustics I: Sound and Sources and Acoustics II: Sound and Vibration.
The topics listed under Acoustics I: Sound and Sources are:
What is a Wave, Superposition of Two Waves, Fourier Decomposition, Reflection of Waves from Boundaries, Refraction of Soundwaves, The Doppler Effect, Longitudinal and Transverse Waves, Sound Fields Radiated by Simple Sources, Sound Radiation from Cylindrical Radiators, Sound field radiated by a Tuning Fork, The Baffle Piston, Evanescent Modes in Waveguides, Phase Speed versus Group Speed, Flexural Waves, Driving room modes & source location, Reverberation in a small room.
The topics listed under Acousitics II: Sound and Vibration are:
Comparing Circular and Sinusoidal Motion, Simple Harmonic Oscillator, Damped Harmonic Oscillator, Forced Harmonic Oscillator, Base Motion, The Simple Pendulum, Coupled Oscillators, Dynamic Absorbers, Vibrational modes of a multi-dof system, Vibrational Modes of a Hanging Chain, Vibration of a Fixed-Fixed String, Rectangular Membrane, Circular Membrane, Acoustics of Baseball Bats, Vibrational Modes of an Electric Guitar, Vibrational Modes of an Acoustic Guitar, Tacoma Narrows Bridge.
At the end of the site links to other physics related sites (e.g.,
optics, electromagnetic waves, human sight and matter (particle) waves are provided.
The major learning goal of this site is to demonstrate various sound, wave and acoustic properties through the combined use of animation and text.
Target Student Population:
The site is directed at college level, applied physics students; however, this site would also be appropriate for college level music technology, acoustics and sound recording students.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
Basic computer and Internet skills are the only prerequisite knowledge needed to access and use this site.
Type of Material:
Website with animations
Individual animations from this site could easily be adapted for the study of sound and acoustics in music technology courses ranging from introductory to advanced. Less advanced or introductory courses would require more context then the site alone provides.
Some of the animations are in the form of downloadable MPEG files and require an MPEG player.
Evaluation and Observation
The text is clear, accurate and includes both technical and lay explanations of each topic along with excellent animations that demonstrate the explanations. Each topic is limited to a digestible amount of information.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
This is an exceptionally well-designed site. The modular organization of the animations makes it easy for instructors to isolate individual topics for use in their course sequence. The combination of animation, clear text and the amount of information maximize the effectiveness of this site as a teaching tool.
The mathematical formulas that accompany most of the explanations will probably be too complex for most musicians who have not studied advanced math or calculus. However, the explanations are perfectly understandable, even without the formulas.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
This site is easy to use for both students and teachers. The organization of the the site is clearly laid out on the "index" page and is easy to follow. The GIF animations only require a standard internet browser to operate.
A consistent navigation bar throughout the site would be helpful, as would "previous" and "next" lesson buttons.