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Chladni Figures

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Video of the Week #96, June 13th, 2013:

From: Chladni Figures: Amazing Resonance Experiment by Brian Malow at But Seriously….

Source: brusspup on YouTube.

In this YouTube video, a simple, little-known experiment that traces back to the 17th Century reveals what is normally invisible to our eyes: the unexpectedly beautiful patterns in a vibrating rigid surface.



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  1. 1. PatriciaJH 4:48 pm 06/13/2013

    Nifty! What fantastic patterns! I’ve seen this used in violin making — a process called “free plate tuning”, developed by Carleen Hutchins and the Catgut Society, and now used by many violin and instrument makers, where a violin back is vibrated — like this — at different frequencies, and the patterns show where the nodes are, and how the violin back needs to be trimmed. Hadn’t occurred to me to wonder what a flat plate would do.
    See: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3uMZzVvnSiU
    and also Carleen’s obit: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/09/arts/music/09hutchins.html?_r=0

    My own fiddle was a Chinese “blank”, with the plates tuned in this way by violinmaker Jerry Weene.

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  2. 2. smdvmx 12:34 am 06/14/2013

    At first look, it would certainly seem that dynamic resonance patterns suggested by these experiments could be the engine of structure in the universe on any given scale. Hans Jenny was exploring these resonance patterns back in the 90′s, and produced a few videos of his experiments using lycopodium powder; he called the work Cymatics. His original work can be seen at http://www.cymaticsource.com/.
    There are some follow-ups, like working with water for example, which can be seen at http://www.cymatics.org/.

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  3. 3. leaf6 2:40 pm 06/15/2013

    I would like to see a similar experiment in three dimensions. Perhaps the arriving new space age will do it.

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  4. 4. PRWnyc 3:10 pm 06/17/2013

    I’ve sent this video Chladlni / resonating patterns to my 8 yr old Grandson Aiden forhis knowledge and enjoymant…. Thanks

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