Physics That Resonates With Everyone
Chladni patterns mix sound with science
In the late 18th century, musician and scientist Ernst Chladni demonstrated the two-dimensional vibration of a flat plane caused by certain sound waves. Following in the footsteps of Robert Hooke, Chladni drew a rosined bow across the edge of a sand-covered metal plate. When the bow created certain frequencies of vibration, the beautiful patterns above were formed.
When sound travels through a solid medium like a metal plate, certain frequencies will produce resonance. Resonance is the property of a given material to vibrate easily and vigorously at specific frequencies, and the patterns created in Chladni’s experiments represent the nodes between intersecting two-dimensional waves. Every solid material from wood to glass to metal to buildings to our inner ear membranes have a set of frequencies that will cause these resonant vibrations.
Check out this video for more. Got a violin bow? Try it yourself!