Credits and References

Please feel free to send me any reference material you feel would be a useful addition to this list:


I offer my personal thanks to Wolfgang Christian and his many collaborators for all their help, without whom this project would not be possible.

I would also like to thank Miriam for much good advice and a great deal of patience over the years with this and many similar projects.

Software and Tutorials:

  • Physlets and Java Scripts from Wolfgang Christian and the group at Davidson College. These are ready made Java applets which can be embedded in a web page and controlled with JavaScript. The web page creator can give as much or as little control of the Physlet to the user as desired by modifying the JavaScript in the web page. These Physlets are free for downloading.
  • The Easy Java Simulations package created by Francisco Esquembre. This is a software authoring tool which allows you to construct Java simulation software with a minimal amount of Java programing. Interface tools such as buttons, text windows, graphic windows etc., are provided, as are visualization tools and a simple way to program the behavior of complex objects in a graphical window. This package is free for downloading and is open source.
  • The Open Source Physics Project.
  • Physlet Physics, Interactive Illustrations, Explorations, and Problems for Introductory Physics by Wolfgang Christian and Mario Belloni (with contributions by Anne J. Cox, Melissa H. Dancy, Aaron Titus and Thomas M. Colbert), Pearson Education, 2001.
  • Physlets: Teaching Physics with Interactive Curricular Material by Wolfgang Christian and Mario Belloni, Pearson Education, 2004.
  • Phet Simulations are a group of educational simulations distributed for free from the University Colorado, Boulder.
  • In several places there are links to demonstration simulations from Wolfram. These will run on the web page or you can download them and play them with the Wolfram cdf Player App or with Mathematica.
  • Audacity is a free sound analysis program.
  • Paul Falstad has a number of useful acoustic applets.
  • Meta-Calculator is a free online graphing calculator. A free iPhone/iPad/iPod version is also available.
  • Forinash’s tutorial on Waves.

Web sites:


  • Why We Hear What We Hear, Eric J. Heller (Princeton University Press, 2013).
  • Conceptual Physics, 11th Paul Hewitt (Addison Wesley, 2011). [Many of the conceptual questions are based on ideas from this book.]
  • Measured Tones: The Interplay of Physics and Music, 3rd ed., I. Johnson (CRC Press, 2011).
  • The Physics of Musical Instruments, 3rd ed., T. D. Rossing and N. H. Fletcher (Springer, 2010).
  • Sound Synthesis and Sampling, 2rd ed., N. Colllins (Routledge, 2009).
  • Handmade Electronic Music, 3rd ed., M. Russ (Focal Press, 2009).
  • Master Handbook of Acoustics, 3rd ed., M. Russ (Focal Press, 2009).
  • The Physics of Sound, 5rd F. A. Everest and K. C. Pohlmann (McGraw-Hill, 2009).
  • Good Vibrations, B. Parker, (John Hopkins University Press, 2009).
  • What is Music?, P. Dorrell, (Philip Dorrell 2005).
  • Musical Acoustics, D. E. Hall, (Brooks Cole, 2002).
  • Musical Sound, M. J. Moravcsik, (Kluwer Academic, 2002).
  • The Science of Sound, T. D. Rossing, F. R, Moore, P. A. Wheeler, (Addison Westley, 2001).
  • Musical Sound, M. J. Moravcsik (Springer, 2001).
  • The Physics of Vibrations and Waves, 5th ed. H. J. Pain (John Wiley & Sons, 1999).
  • Linear and Nonlinear Waves, G. B. Whitham (John Wiley & Sons, 1999).
  • Principles of Vibrations and Sound, T. D. Rossing, N. H. Fletcher (Springer, 1995).
  • The Musician’s guide to Acoustics, M. Campell and C. Greated (Oxford University Press, 1994).
  • Vibration and Waves in Physics 3rd ed., I. G. Main (Cambridge University Press, 1993).
  • The Physics of Waves, H. Georgi (Prentice Hall, 1993).
  • Sound Reinforcement Handbook, G. Davis and R. Jones (Yamaha, 1989).
  • The Physics of Waves, H. Georgi (Prentice Hall, 1993).
  • Fundamentals of Musical Acoustics, A. H. Benade (Dover, 1990).
  • Fundamentals of Waves and Oscillations, K.U. Ingard (Cambridge University Press,1988).
  • Physics and the Sound of Music, J. S. Rigden (John Wiley and Sons, 1985).
  • Introduction to Wave Phenomena, A. Hirose and K. E. Lonngren (John Wiley and Sons, 1985).
  • Musical Acoustics: Selected Reprints, ed. T. D. Rossing (American Association of Physics Teachers, 1969).
  • Physics of Waves, W. C. Elmore and M. A. Heald, (Dover Publications, 1969).
  • The Physics of Musical Sound, J. Askill (D. Van Nostrand; Comission of College Physics, 1969).
  • Waves (Berkeley Physics Course), F. S. Crawford, Jr. (McGraw Hill, 1968).
  • The Physics of Musical Sound, J. J. Josephs (D. Van Nostrand; Comission of College Physics, 1967).
  • Vibrations and Waves, A. P. French, (W. W. Norton & Co. 1966).
  • Waves, C. A. Coulson, (John Wiley & Sons, 1955).


  • A. Case, “The vocal microphone: Technology and practice”, Physics Today, p 74, March 2016.
  • K. Forinash, R. WismanC. Lang, N. Couzin; “Free and easy sound analysis.” Invited talk, AAPT summer meeting, Sacramento 2004.

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