I am currently working on a project for my senior thesis in mathematics. I have loved audio since I was a teenager, I got into designing subwoofer enclosures, participating in SPL car audio competitions, which led me to pursuing a degree in electrical engineering. This last year I decided to get a degree in mathematics and am now not quite sure what career path I will be pursuing. I am sure I would enjoy something related to electricity and acoustics; which is why I want to incorporate these fields of interest into my project. P.S. I will present my project before December and intend on finishing the “instrument” by June.
For the project I will mainly be focusing on the overall change in acoustic quality from the sound produced by the plasma arcs of a musical Tesla coil; their website has videos and gives a lot of details of how the coil works if you want to look into this (http://onetesla.com/products/k…..slats.html). Changing the quality at all is not difficult as the arcs created by the Tesla coil are just zapping in the air wherever they want. I am working on designing a very specific enclosure to filter out unwanted frequencies and amplify others. I am still in the process of researching what factors I can incorporate into my design and figured I’d make a few forums to see what other opinions and ideas I can gather.
I came across this site while researching different materials I could use to absorb the ugly static frequencies produced by the plasma arcs. I intend on creating 1 to 3 plasma speakers or enclosures that will each handle a different range of frequencies (low, mid, high). I initially was pondering on separating the EM signal into 3 separate signals (like a 3-way crossover) that would then lead to their own individual plasma speaker and enclosure. I think the separation process would be difficult to control if it is even possible. The resonant frequency is about 230kHz which is interrupted at every peak of the audio signal to create pressure waves at the audio frequency. In other words the spark is forming and extinguishing at intervals of the audio frequency.
My plan now would be to make 3 identical plasma speakers that run simultaneously, each feeding into its own specific enclosure. Ideally each enclosure would be designed to target a different range of frequencies. Each complex enclosure could filter out the ugly static noise while at the same time amplify and control the sound desired to produce better quality.
This project covers a very broad range of mathematics. I was thinking I could conclude the acoustic portion of the project with a visual representation of how the sound waves change as they go about their way through the enclosures. For this I would need to program the data i collect into some sort of 3D graphing software. This is going to be my target of research after I get a grasp on how I should start building the enclosures. If you have any recommendations of what software and programs I could use that would also be very helpful.
Below are a couple of YouTube videos . The musical tesla coil I have can make arcs up to 2 ft! So it will likely be quite a bit louder and will definitely need filtering.
Any criticism, opinions, advice, recommended resources, etc. would be greatly appreciated!
August 12, 2013