Questions for ‘Sounding out the enemy’


A captured German howitzer gun from World War I. 

Great War Primary Document Archive: Photos of the Great War -

To accompany feature ‘Sounding out the enemy’


Before reading:

1.    When and where was World War I fought?

2.    How do lightning and thunder illustrate the difference in speeds between light and sound?

During reading:

1.    List some of the military technologies introduced during World War I.

2.    What is acoustics?

3.    How did longer-range weapons change the way war was fought?

4.    Which countries fought on the two principal sides in World War I?

5.    Explain the analogy used to explain how sound travels outward.

6.    Why was Lawrence Bragg “out of his element” at the start of World War I?

7.    How did sonic booms present a problem to Bragg in his experiments?

8.    What event caused Bragg to notice the change in pressure that accompanies the passing of a sound wave.

9.    Why did some British soldiers carry dynamite?

10.  What did microphones capture at 11 o’clock on November 11, 1918?

After reading:

1.    Why does sound ranging require more than one microphone to pinpoint the source of a sound?

2.    Brainstorm with a partner some other applications for sound ranging using acoustical arrays.


1.    Create a map of Western Europe and mark on it the locations of Ypres, La Clytte, Amiens, Paris and Cambrai.