do cup phones really work

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A simple paper cup phone works bytransmitting sound vibrations along a tightly-pulled string. The bottom of each cup serves as a combination microphone and speaker, picking up sound vibrations on one and and reproducing the sound at the other.

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  • What can you learn from making a cup phone?

  • Making a cup phone is a fun way to learn about the science of sound. You might also want to try this simple sound experiment. 20 feet of string (We used yarn.) To make your own cup phones, use the tip of a pencil to poke a small hole at the bottom of each of your two cups. Next, thread the string through the hole of one cup.

  • Why does the string and paper cup phone work?

  • Why does the string and paper cup phone work? Sound waves can travel through air, solids, and liquids. When you speak into the cup, the vibrations are transmitted into the string. They continue to travel through the string, as long as it is held taut, to the receiving cup.

  • Why Whisper with a cup phone?

  • Because the cup and string are solid, and solids actually carry sound waves better than air, the whisper can be heard much clearer than if you were to just whisper into the air from that distance. Take your cup phone activity further! Have your child try one or more of the following extension activities:

  • How do you make a phone out of paper cups?

  • To make your own paper cup phones, use the tip of a pencil to poke a small hole at the bottom of each of your two cups. Next, thread the string through the hole of one cup. We just tied a knot in the yarn on the inside of the cup to keep it in place.

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