SciCombinator

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S Phillips, A Agarwal and P Jordan
Abstract
This paper details an investigation into the characteristic ‘plink’ sound produced by water droplets impacting a liquid surface, such as those falling from a dripping tap. Modern high-speed video and audio capture techniques have been applied to this problem for the first time. Previous literature investigating the underwater sound produced has been validated, with the key sound producing feature both above and below the water confirmed to be the entrainment of a small underwater air bubble. Recorded sound frequencies have been shown to align with the theoretical natural oscillation frequency of the entrained bubble, confirming this to be the driver of the characteristic ‘plink’ sound. For the first time these oscillations of the entrained bubble have been directly observed on video footage. An investigation into the effect of underwater reverberation showed that the airborne sound field is not simply the underwater field propagating through the water-air interface, as had previously been assumed. An alternative hypothesis is that the oscillating bubble induces oscillations of the water surface itself, giving a more efficient mechanism by which the underwater bubble drives the airborne sound field. A model for this new hypothesis produces good agreement with experimental data.
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