Cymatics, The Way to See The Sound - Spreading Some Vibes Again


I know, reading the title of this post can give the impression that it is just one of the many of my attempts to spread the vibes... in a challenge or not in the challenge version. It is the same, in fact. Not everything has to be seen as a challenge to find fun in it. But, it is giving joy, to write an article having at least mentioned the combination of these words. Also, not far away from spreading some vibes and vibrations will be this post about. First of all, the trigger came from a post I saw 9 days ago (yes, I checked now the exact day to be sure) posted by @beesparkle. She said: Science is fun . Hmm, well, I am a musician, and although there are great musician-scientists and scientist-musicians, this field has never been one of my strong sides. It can be interesting for me and of course, my mind is blown away reading some unbelievable facts from the scientific researches, but the music side prevailed and I just stayed as a musician. (I take this opportunity to brag a little, my niece, who appeared in some posts here on hive where we played four-handed and where she drew a fairy while I played, in addition to studying musicology, she enrolled in another college. Applied mathematics. She is crazy, of course in a positive sense, all the best grades in musicology, so she probably misses a little more mind challenges. Loving so much my niece who is outstanding in all areas.)

I apologize for this interlude, let's get back to the topic. So, science is fun, Beesparkle said. In her post, she announced some upcoming events, as a part of the European Researchers’ Night and an important point:

So, find a site with the events in your country and indulge your curiosity :D . Then post about your experience and spread the vibes of science ;)

Holy moly, she is inviting us to spread the vibes of science!!!

Why not accept the challenge? Indeed, why not? Why would I stay just in the field of music and not dig a bit in the other areas too? As a strange thing (btw, does it ever happen to you that you think about something and then your gadgets start to bomb you with advertisements with the thing you just thought about? ) YouTube suggested me a video, this one in particular:

YouTube video source - Nigel John Stanford

What we have seen here? What is Cymatics at all? I would like to call it just art, as you see how beautiful is the cover photo that comes from Lisandro Pardo. It is pure art, but in fact, not just art is involved here. Science too. Although the video we have seen tries to be attractive and easy to consume, after all somehow he had to bring the attention of the audience, nothing here is new. The effects he used were discovered some time ago, but anyway, he did a nice job with his music and showing it through {experiments}. Yes, showing the music, as we talk about seeing the sound. Visualising the vibrations of the music.

An interlude, once again!

If you want, pay attention to the part in the video at 2:42 until about minute 3. Do you see the globe he touches? It is an ionizing globe or plasma globe, and the roots of this invention come from the plasma lamp invented by Nikola Tesla. Actually, I think nothing to see with music and sound, but with noble gases and with a high-voltage electrode in the centre of the globe. I had the opportunity to see and touch it this summer in one exposition, dedicated to Nikola Tesla. Here comes a very short video, just to show it. That is the hand of a friend and I was the one reflected in the centre of that globe, recording with the phone :)

I liked the Nikola Tesla inventions exposed there. When I tried this globe, it was exciting to see those moving tendrils following your fingertips and the laces where you touch the glass ball. I was also playing a bit with other exposed inventions, but it would need more space. We have to go back to cymatics :)


Now finally, getting back to the topic. According to all that I tried to read and listen to different educational videos, cymatics is the study of visible sound. The vibration that we can see through nice, artistic like patterns. Normally, we hear the frequencies, the waves, coming by air. When our ear catches them, it makes our eardrum vibrate, and it creates electrical signals to send to our brain. We can not see the waves as the air is invisible. But what happens if another medium vibrates according to the received frequencies? Yeah, we see them.

Although there were some other notable inventors during history that may realise some similar experiments or at least observations on resonance, like Da Vinci or Galileo, it was Ernest Chladni that put some sand on a metal plate and made it resonate with a violin bow. A pattern occurred then. Much later, Hans Jenny made more researches around this matter and called it cymatics in 1970s. He attached a sine wave frequency generator to a metal plate and started to play placing some dust or sand on the same plate. When he made the metal plate vibrate at different frequencies (using the frequency generator) the sand formed geometric patterns. The patterns became more and more complex at higher frequencies. We can also see the frequencies if we place water or other liquid to a dish and make it resonate with music sound. Here is another nice video, where we can observe the patterns and how complex they become when the frequencies are higher:

YouTube video source brusspup

As usual, at the end of my posts, I am asking a question, or two :).

Have you heard about cymatics before? Have you actually thought about visualising the music? Are there photographers here in hive that already worked with this matter and captured the music in this way?

For sure, this way we can see the music, not just hear it, and these visuals are something I like to see. Although, it is still not so spread, some artists started to experiment with it too, so beautiful artworks are created using the frequencies and visualising the waves, the sound. Hence, one more photo is coming, the same author and source as the cover photo, to enjoy a bit more in the artistic side of science.


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