Hidden beauty: Sound waves

When you pass sound waves through a substance they reflect off boundaries and this causes the wave to interfere with itself. At specific frequencies dependent on the properties of the object (e.g. size, shape and density) a pattern can be produced that is composed of a series of nodes and antinodes typically following very specific lines that we can’t see. At an antinode the amplitude of the wave is a maximum, and at a node the amplitude is 0.

In the video sand on a metal plate is used to represent the nodes, as it is along those lines that there is no vibration and so the sand will remain still. The physics of it is interesting, but I believe we can all appreciate the beauty in the symmetrical patterns that form and gradually become more and more intricate.

Video credit: http://www.youtube.com/user/brusspup

 

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