A Sound Cannon

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Sound travels through the air by spreading out in invisible waves. These are called ‘Sound Waves’. If you fire a sound wave at a target, what will happen when the sound hits it?


  • Thin Plastic (from a plastic bag)
  • Stiff paper
  • Cardboard tube
  • Strip of paper (20cm long, 1 cm wide)
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Rubber band
  • Sticky tape
  1. Use the tube to draw a circle on the piece of stiff paper.
  2. Cut out the circle (be as accurate as you can).
  3. Make a hole in the centre of the circle with the point of the pencil. (The hole should remain small, approximately half the thickness of the pencil)
  4. Tape the circle firmly to one end of the tube (If there are large gaps around the edge of the circle, block using sticky tape).
  5. Cover the other end of the tube with the thin plastic, as if you were making a drum, secure the plastic using the rubber band.
  6. Fold the strip of paper in half and tape one end to a table. Ensure the other end is sticking up in the air.
  7. Hold the tube so that the hole is pointing at the top of the paper strip, and sharply tap the drum end.

What happens to the piece of paper? Why?