The Geometry of Sound Waves Visualized

Turn down your speakers …  but not all of the way off. Now see what sound waves look like when they’re visualized and the geometric patterns they make. They’re called Chladni patterns, and they get their name from Ernst Chladni (1756–1827), a German physicist and musician whose work earned him the title, “The Father of Acoustics.”

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Comments (4)
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  • Mary Lark Corbett says:

    In this video, the geometric patterns changed as the pitch was raised. What about the consideration of different instruments in an orchestra., each one having their own sound vibration pattern. Why not compare patterns made with different instruments? And again, what about the patterns made when a particular rhythm is employed, a particular melody, or even when instruments are playing simultaneously in harmony? I think deaf people should be able to visually enjoy, for example, Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. Consider the primary, secondary, and tertiary colors each corresponding to the notes in succession from middle C to High C. As you go up the octaves, the colors would be a proportianate degree lighter in color. As you go down the lower octaves, the colors would darken in intensity. The geometric patterns when perceived by the viewer could appear to draw closer to you with the increase in volume, and recede as the volume decreases. Perhaps,textures digitally imposed on the patterns could represent the different moods of the mellody e.g., rocky versus satiny etc.Various rhythm would naturally be employed by the method shown above in this video, or perhaps enhanced by further experiments. Color is an important part to aid in the beauty of the experience. Perhaps even a #-D quilt could be made to greometrically represent a particular song! God bless all you physics/music majors. :>)

  • Mary Lark Corbett says:

    I meant to say 3-D quilt, and geometrically.

  • Mary Lark Corbett says:

    melody not mellody. Lousy typist I am.

  • Mary Lark Corbett says:

    proportionate, not proportianate. Okay, I quit. YOU edit the thing!

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