I know that the frequency of a tuning fork depends on its Young's modulus, but intuitively, shouldn't the frequency of a tuning fork depend on it's shear modulus, not it's Young's modulus, as the vibrations involved are essentially a lateral( or parallel to base) movement of the prongs?


1 Answer 1


The resonance frequency depends on Young's modulus because the prongs of the tuning fork are bending without shear. Bending is a combination of stretching and compression. The convex side of the prong is stretched, while its concave side is compressed.

A more familiar example of such a combination of stretch and compression is the bending of a bimetallic strip.

  • $\begingroup$ Never thought about it that way. Actually now that i think about the question again it just seems stupid. Thanks anyway. $\endgroup$
    – user142132
    Nov 27, 2017 at 2:57

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