Problems for
Intermediate Methods in Theoretical Physics

Edward F. Redish

Harp String

When visiting my daughter's family last Thanksgiving, I took the photo shown on the right of my six-year old grandson playing a harp.   The string he is plucking is middle C ( f = 256 Hz, ω = 2πf). Their packet of extra strings said that string (made of nylon) has a diameter of 0.055 in. We dropped the extra string in a jar of water and it slowly sank to the bottom. Estimate the tension to which the string had to be tuned in order for it to correctly produce middle C when plucked. Be sure to clearly state your assumptions and how you came to the numbers you estimated, since grading will be mostly based on your reasoning, not on your answer.



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This page prepared by

Edward F. Redish
Department of Physics
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742
Phone: (301) 405-6120

Last revision 7. December, 2005.