Home Science in Art & CultureMusic Resonance patterns or Chladni patterns

Resonance patterns or Chladni patterns

by Eva Amsen

There’s a video of Chladni patterns or resonance patterns on YouTube. Turn down the volume before you watch this!

I don’t have sound here, but according to the comments on the YouTube page, it’s a nasty sound, and will upset pets. I watched it without sound, and that works fine.

The previously linked Music Acoustics department of the University of NSW has some pictures of Chladni patterns on violins.

And hey, it’s Chladni’s 250th birthday this year. This is being celebrated at a seminar “Nodal patterns in physics and mathematics” in Chladni’s birth town of Wittenburg (Germany). Incidentally, it’s also Mozart’s 250th birthday this year. I suggest crossover festivities! They could do Chladni patterns of Mozart’s works. Someone must have thought of this already…

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3 comments

pim June 6, 2006 - 12:29 PM

is there any description on how this is done? I wonder why the rice forms patterns that are symmetric on the plate it lays on. did they suspend the plate in a special way? How do they get the plate to vibrate/resonate? is this mounted directly on the speaker or something? Would be nice if this was a very simple experiment, I’d try it at home 🙂

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Eva June 6, 2006 - 12:55 PM

I’ve seen this in a museum, where you got to use a violin bow on the side of the plate, and the pattern was still symmetrical with the other side as well. They used sand instead of rice, that might be easier in that case because it’s lighter? It seems easy to do at home, if you have a big metal plate and either a speaker or a violin bow.

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oceanne May 24, 2010 - 11:39 AM

Some areas of the plate vibrate while being still in other areas..the medium gathers in these still areas.

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