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Cymatics

While researching I came across the word “Cymatics”. It’s basically the study of visible sound and vibration. Typically the surface of a plate, diaphragm, or membrane is vibrated, and regions of maximum and minimum displacement are made visible in a thin coating of particles, paste, or liquid. I will be working on these experiments to derive a series of studies on shapes derive from sounds. It can be done by creating different kinds of sound frequencies.

Cymatics – The Science of the future.

Is there a connection between sound, vibrations and physical reality? Do sound and vibrations have the potential to create?

In 1787, the jurist, musician and physicist Ernst Chladni published Entdeckungen über die Theorie des Klangesor Discoveries Concerning the Theory of Music.In this and other pioneering works, Chladni, who was born in 1756, the same year as Mozart, and died in 1829, the same year as Beethoven, laid the foundations for that discipline within physics that came to be called acoustics, the science of sound. Among Chladni´s successes was finding a way to make visible what sound waves generate. With the help of a violin bow which he drew perpendicularly across the edge of flat plates covered with sand, he produced those patterns and shapes which today go by the term Chladni figures. (se left) What was the significance of this discovery? Chladni demonstrated once and for all that sound actually does affect physical matter and that it has the quality of creating geometric patterns.

What we are seeing in this illustration is primarily two things: areas that are and are not vibrating. When a flat plate of an elastic material is vibrated, the plate oscillates not only as a whole but also as parts. The boundaries between these vibrating parts, which are specific for every particular case, are called node lines and do not vibrate. The other parts are oscillating constantly. If sand is then put on this vibrating plate, the sand (black in the illustration) collects on the non-vibrating node lines. The oscillating parts or areas thus become empty. According to Jenny, the converse is true for liquids; that is to say, water lies on the vibrating parts and not on the node lines.

The Creative Vibration

What did Hans Jenny find in his investigations?
In the first place, Jenny produced both the Chladni figures and Lissajous figures in his experiments. He discovered also that if he vibrated a plate at a specific frequency and amplitude – vibration – the shapes and motion patterns characteristic of that vibration appeared in the material on the plate. If he changed the frequency or amplitude, the development and pattern were changed as well. He found that if he increased the frequency, the complexity of the patterns increased, the number of elements became greater. If on the other hand he increased the amplitude, the motions became all the more rapid and turbulent and could even create small eruptions, where the actual material was thrown up in the air.

 
Development of Pattern in Sand
Swinging water drops (by Hans Jenny)
Sand patterns as a function of the size of the plate