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Case Study of Waves

Posted on September 20th, by amoeboar in classes, cookingwithsound. No Comments

[gn_pullquote align="right"]Cymatics, the study of visible sound and vibration

Solfeggio frequencies, based on numerology[/gn_pullquote]

My research on the relationship between sound and the mediums through which it travels led me to the study of cymatics.

Galileo observed this phenomenon in 1632:

As I was scraping a brass plate with a sharp iron chisel in order to remove some spots from it and was running the chisel rather rapidly over it, I once or twice, during many strokes, heard the plate emit a rather strong and clear whistling sound: on looking at the plate more carefully, I noticed a long row of fine streaks parallel and equidistant from one another. Scraping with the chisel over and over again, I noticed that it was only when the plate emitted this hissing noise that any marks were left upon it; when the scraping was not accompanied by this sibilant note there was not the least trace of such marks.

- Galileo Galilei, Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, 1632

Later, in 1787, Ernst Chladni describes the patterns seen by placing sand on metal plates which are made to vibrate by stroking the edge of the plate with a bow. These came to be known as Chladni plates.

Hanz Jenny documented his observations with a series of informative videos in 1960: Part 1Part 2, and Part 3


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John Stuart Reid, The shape of sound is not a wave


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Jeremy Pfeiffer, Cymatic Transposition, at Solfeggio Frequency (528 Hz)


Some mediums through which to pass sound waves:

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Using ferrofluid, for which I would need a way to create sound using an electromagnet, and in such a way that a large magnetic field is induced. This will be an area of further research.


Or some other very fine powder mixed with water (or a superfluid):

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Jeremy Pfeiffer, Klymatic Transposition

I filmed my usual cymatics transpositions using water and powder… I added a kaleidoscope effect and did a basic 2 track composition in post. This was an exploration for me…it did open a window of ideas for future experiments with light. Light polarization is pretty interesting fractal phenomenon

- Jeremy Pfeiffer, on Klymatic Transposition

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