Vibrations and Waves

  • R. Kibble


Why do bees buzz? The buzzing sound of a bee is not the bee singing or humming to itself but a sound produced by the vibrations of its wings. The wings push on the air at a frequency of about 80 times per second. This repeated forcing effect starts a sound wave in the air which spreads out and is captured by our ears. The air vibrations bash our eardrums about 80 times each second and we recognize this as the sound of a bee. Each vibration has its own amplitude. For a tall building, the amplitude is the greatest sideways distance moved by the building, perhaps up to 3 metres. The time for one complete, there and back, vibration is called the period. For a bee’s wing, the period is about 1/80th second. The period of a tall swaying building might be about 6 seconds.


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© R. Kibble 1989

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  • R. Kibble

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