Enjoy the Good Sound of Coke™—The Art of Modeling by Analogy

There is a certain satisfaction that comes from understanding the behaviour of familiar objects. Who has not blown air across a bottle to make a musical sound? As a source of sound, a Coke bottle may resemble a curvy open-ended organ pipe—but that would be a completely erroneous way to think of it. Bizarre as it may seem, I show that a Coke bottle is more accurately modeled as an electrical circuit with inductance and capacitance. Tested experimentally by one of my students, the model closely reproduces the relation beween the resonant sound frequency and level of water in the bottle.

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