The changes in the natural frequencies of a beam produced by cracks have been compared with those caused by slots of the same depth and different widths. It has been shown both theoretically and experimentally that the natural frequency changes produced by a defect of a given depth increase as the width of the defect is increased. This means that if tests with machined slots are to be used to investigate whether a crack of a particular depth can be detected in a nondestructive test based on natural frequency measurements, it is essential to correct the results of the tests with the slots to allow for the finite width of the slots. The results presented here can be used for this purpose.

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