Get Your Science On: Slinky Sounds

This week, we have a special video from our visiting science teacher Chris Chiaverina. Chris shows us how a microphone works and how to build Slinky Sounds, an awesome little experiment that makes some sci-fi sound effects!

What’s Going On

A microphone takes sounds energy (vibrations) and turns it into electric energy so it can be amplified, stored, or played back louder. It does this by using a magnet and a coil of wires. The magnet is suspended on a flexible material that is free to vibrate. The magnet vibrates inside of the coil of wires, which induces an electric current in the wires that can be sent to the amplifier.

In this experiment, we connect the magnet to a slinky. This provides the vibrations, rather than your voice, to be amplified and played back.

Materials

  • A strong magnet (we used a neodymium cube magnet)
  • A coil of wires or a small solenoid
  • An amplifier/spearker (we used a Honeytone)
  • A small metal slinky
  • Wires to connect it all together