School of Physics Lecture Demonstration Manual

Wf-1 Savart's Wheel

Published: Wednesday 15 March 2006 - Updated: Thursday 31 March 2011

Aim

To demonstrate that a musical note has a pitch dependent on the rate at which the ear receives impulses; i.e the pitch of a note is determined by its frequency.

Apparatus

Savart's Wheel

Diagrams

Click on pictures to enlarge.

Savart's Wheel Diagram

Description

A series of toothed wheels mounted on a common hub are caused to rotate via the pulley and motor shown. A card held against one of the wheels in rotation emits a characteristic sound of frequency proportional to the number of teeth and the speed of the motor. Decreasing the wheel speed may be accomplished by applying greater pressure against the wheel and this causes a corresponding decrease in pitch of the emitted sound. The number of teeth on each wheel is given below.

 

Wheel Number

Number of Teeth

1

33

2

34

3

37

4

38

5

41

6

44

7

46

8

49

9

51

10

55

11

58

12

62

13

66

 

Safety notes

Electrical safety 

Maintenance 

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