Coathanger gong science experiment : Fizzics Education


Coathanger gong

Coathanger gong

Follow FizzicsEd 150 Science Experiments:

You will need:

One Coat hanger

Two pieces of string around 30cm in length


Coathanger gong science experiment - materials needed
1 Coathanger gong science experiment - completed coathanger gong

Tie the each strings to the corners of the coat hanger.

2 Coathanger gong science experiment - winding the strings 500 x 500px

Wrap your right index finger around one of the string and wrap your other index finger around the other string.

Hold the end of the string so that the coat hanger hangs between your hands.

Gently knock the coat hanger on a hard surface. What do you hear? Is the sound loud of soft?

3 Coathanger gong science experiment - strings in the ear 500 x 500px

Put your fingers in your ears and gently knock the coat hanger on a hard surface.

Does the sound get louder? Why?

4 Heart shape on chladni plate

Why Does This Happen?

Knocking the coat hanger against the surface makes the coat hanger vibrate. The vibrations travelled faster to your ear through the vibrating strings because they are solid.

Sound is produced by vibrations. Vibrations travel faster through solids than they do through liquids or gases. This is the reason why earthquakes can be detected hundreds of kilometres from their source. You can find out how seismographs are used to detect earthquake vibrations by visiting Geoscience Australia.

Variables to test

More on variables here

  • What happens when you use a plastic coathanger?
  • Vary the type of string or exchange it to wool or fishing line
  • Does the surface that you hit the coathanger against make a difference?
  • Try other objects tied to the string. Do they sound the same?

Learn more!


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