The principles of Cymatics, the study of waveform phenomenon, have been demonstrated using many materials–plastics, pastes, and mainly water. These are marvelous images. But now, we have something new in the realm of Cymatics–standing waves demonstrated on a plate of fire!
Cymatics is a word coined by Dr. Hans Jenny, a Swiss medical doctor, who in his spare time investigated the power of sound to create form. Jenny spent many hours observing the effects of sound upon matter. Many consider this work to be the seminal most important demonstration of the ability of sound to shape substance.
The word Cymatics is based on the Greek term for waveform because sound travels as a wave. Throughout history there have been people who have observed and investigated the unique ability of the vibrations of sound to effect and shape different substances.
Many of us back in high school science might have seen an experiment performed where a science teacher scattered sand on a steel plate and then vibrated this plate with a violin bow. The sand would begin to move and take on symmetrical shapes-geometric and organic looking. These experiments were based upon the work of an l8th century German physicist named Ernst Chladni.
Dr. Jenny’s studies were a further extension of Chladni’s work. His Cymatic experiments show the effects of sound waves upon many different types of material, including water, pastes, liquids and plastics. Dr. Jenny placed these substances on a steel plate, vibrated the plate with a crystal oscillator, which produces an exact frequency, and then photographed the effects. Click here to view some of these images.
The video above takes the concept of Cymatics into the realm of a whole new element–here we see the ability of sound to shape form as manifested on a plate of fire!
The device is based on the work of German physicist Heinrich Rubens, who devised a method for using fire to demonstrate standing sound waves. This invention has come to be known as a Rubens tube (see video for further explanation). When there is no sound fed into the tube, all the flames rise to the same height. When a sound is added into the tube, the waveform actually affects the amount of gas that is fed through each hole, which results in flames of varying heights depending on their relationship to the underlying sound patterns.
The physicist in the video has taken the Rubens Tube concept to a new level and created an apparatus to demonstrate the effect on an entire plane. The results are extraordinary! And it’s interesting to contemplate that the visuals are not just a surface level effect on the top plate, but are the result of sound waves affecting the three dimensional flow of the gas underneath. It’s another testament to the fact that sound has the ability to create fields and forms in all dimensions!
Video and related article originally posted at www.iflscience.com