For some, the scariest moment in the old Universal Studios Tram Tour is the Jaws shark attack. For others, it’s the weirdly tiny doors in the old west set. For still others, it’s when the tram goes over the bridge and then that bridge starts to fall! Very scary. Even scarier are those stories about a sturdy bridge falling due to oscillation from wind or pedestrians that happens to hist just the right frequency to resonate with the bridge and bring it down. A cool resonance experiment is one that produces lovely things called Chladni figures. Here’s more from Bobby Owsinski’s blog:
This was named after Ernst Chladni, who was a German-born Hungarian physicist and musician who did pioneering work in acoustics as well as the study of meteorites. What he’s most known for is his technique that shows the complex patterns of vibration in a rigid surface, in this case, a steel plate. This technique isn’t new, by the way, as he wrote about it in a book way back in 1787.
What you’re going to see in the following demonstrations is what happens to some common sand when you change the vibration frequency of the plate using a modern oscillator. In the video you’ll be able to see how the sand develops some intricate patterns as it’s pushed away from the areas of vibration and gathers in the places where the surface remains motionless (called nodal lines).
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