databot™ Enters the Low Pressure Zone

As you may already know, databot™ is a fearless explorer of scientific frontiers using on-board and external sensors.  Recently, a Microscale Vacuum Apparatus magically appeared and databot and everyone’s curiosity was piqued.  Could databot fit inside the air pressure chamber and explore the effects of low air pressure?

Coincidentally, the apparatus fits databot™ like a glove and we were able to place databot™ inside the vacuum chamber and watch the data as the air was drawn out. Check out the pictures of the apparatus, databot™ bravely entering the chamber, and the subsequent data collected on the pressure reduction! Note – the data is being collected by an awesome software called Google Science Journal. It’s free, friendly, and fun!

Setting up the Apparatus

Setting up the Apparatus

databot™ Enters the Chamber!

databot™ Enters the Chamber!

The Results!

The Results!

Do You Hear That?

If this weren’t a thrilling enough investigation, we then posited the question, “hey – what happens to sound in a vacuum?” A very good question, so the next step was to insert a small electric buzzer into the chamber and repeat the experiment, this time watching the decibel level over time compared to the air pressure. Check out the results!

1. Here’s the sound of the buzzer normally:

2. Here’s how it sounds in the container:

3. And here are the results!

databot™ Enters the Low Pressure Zone

OK data scientists – what is going on here?

  1. Why is the sound level decreasing with the air pressure?
  2. Why does the sound level seem to be jumping up and down as it decreases?

  3. We reached the limit of how far we could reduce the air pressure, what do you think would happen to the sound if we were able to reduce the air pressure to zero in the chamber? Why?

Challenge your students to take a look at the results from this experiment and submit their observations and explanations through our help desk – we’ll post their answers here for all to enjoy!

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About the Author

Robert Grover is a proponent of STEAM education and educational technology that helps engage and develop the students of today into the thoughtful leaders of tomorrow.