Several long, intricately connected, thin, copper pipes are arranged horizontally and attached to a flat wooden base. The central section of the piping has an adjustable piece that can slide along the other pipes in a trombone-like manner. This sliding section has a piece of wood in the centre with an arrow attached to it that points to positions along a adjacent centimeter ruler (1-20 cm), which is attached along one edge of the outer piping. The ruler is subdivided into mm. Some rubber is connected to parts of the metal tubing at the ends of the tubes.
Accession Number: 2012.psy.76
Alternative Name: Acoustic Interferometer
Primary Materials: Wood, copper, rubber
Number “4” written in white paint on the bottom right corner
Base: Height = 7, Width = 55, Length = 17.5; Instrument: Height = 4, Width = 46, Length = 17
This instrument is used to perform experiments in auditory localization. A sound source (tuning fork) would be placed at the entrance of the single input tube. The sound travels through the two tubes, of adjustable length, toward the two outputs. The middle unit can slide back and forth in order to adjust the phase conditions and create harmonics.
Instrument is in good condition with a few minor scratches and abrasions. The wooden base is chipping at the corners.
Associated Instruments: 2012.psy.77, 78, 79, 94, 113
Date of Manufacture: c. 1910
Department of Psychology, University of Toronto
Additional Information and References:
The Psychology Department owns several versions of this instrument, each numbered for classroom use.
The original instrument appeared in the British Journal of Psychology in 1908.
1) Richter, J. C. (1910). Review of the influence of binaural differences on the localization of sounds. <i>Psychological Bulletin</i>, 7(3), 101-103. Describes a similar instrument.