Title

The Siren

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2004

Abstract

One evening in the fall of 1964, early in my first semester of teaching physics at Kenyon College, I decided to try out the siren in Fig. 1. In those days we had a compressed air line in the lecture hall, and I connected the siren to it. It gave out a satisfyingly loud scream like a legion of cats having their tails stepped on, and within seconds the entire campus security force (two men) arrived in the lecture hall asking about the emergency. I have not done the demonstration since. The siren is a blessing and a curse of modern life. It is used to warn us of approaching storms, and also of overtaking police cars. However, it began as a scientific instrument in the first part of the 19th century.

Journal

The Physics Teacher

Volume

42

First Page

418

Last Page

421