Velocity of sound in water

Velocity of sound in water

In 1826, J. Colladon and J. Sturm measured the velocity of sound in water and found it to be about four times that in air. The experiment was carried out on Lake Geneva in Switzerland using two boats which were situated some 13.5 km apart. One boat supported a bell beneath the water surface, while the other had a trumpet with an elastic membrane stretched across it.

The hammer of the bell was connected to a lever holding a lighted match. At the same instant that the hammer struck the bell the match dipped into a small bowl containing gunpowder. The observer in the other boat listened for the sound through a tube connected to the trumpet and timed the interval between seeing the gunpowder flash and hearing the sound. The experiment was carried out at night, so that the flash was more easily visible. The result they obtained was 1435 mfs at 8.1 C.

Share This