In this interactive activity adapted from the University of Southern California, learn about standing wave patterns known as Chladni figures. Sand is sprinkled on the surface of a metal plate, and then the plate is forced into resonance vibrations by a sound produced at one of its natural frequencies. Observe how the vibrations produce standing wave patterns in the plate, which become visible as the sand settles into the nodal lines. Different patterns are seen at the different harmonic frequencies of the plate. An animated tutorial illustrates the concept of wave interference and how standing wave patterns form.
This media asset was adapted from the University of Southern California, College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, Department of Physics and Astronomy.