Don't Burst My Bubble

Don’t Burst my Sound Bubble!

Euritme, Pinterest

Euritme, Pinterest

Cymatics is the study of visible sound and vibration. Great, now being a visual person I went in search of an explanation of cymatics that I could See:

Onward to YouTube, my generation’s encyclopedia of knowledge!

Video: Photographer Alexander Lauterwasser.

Video: Frequencies Sound + Vibration

John Stuart Reid, Cymatica

John Stuart Reid, Cymatica


Cymatics has also been used to propose that sound isn't actually a wave, but a bubble that expands outwards from the point of origin. If my eight grade science teacher was right when he said that sound is like throwing a pebble into a pond and watching the ripples. If those ripples form in a circle around the pebble, does that mean sound ripples outward in a circles as well?




Two of my favorite Visual representations of sound:

The Big Bang Theory

Sherlock Holmes

Another great use of visual sound that is virtually always at your fingertips is your iTunes Visualizer. Try it with different types of music and observe the differences in how the images react to the beat.


Cymatics is a science that is well within the reach of any household, or scholastic institution.

What you might need:

* A sound machine: computer, phone, cd player, record player, even an old tape player will do.

* A decent speaker system (you might have to do a little research here, you want something that when you touch it will vibrate a little under your hand, and something you can lay flat. 

* A sturdy piece of relatively thin cardboard or card stock to lay over your speaker.

* Sand, or salt, or sugar, a powder that doesn’t stick to itself, to place on your cardboard. (Consider placing plastic wrap over your speaker so gritty goodness doesn't infiltrate the speaker shell.)

* You can also try putting a bowl of water over your speaker. Try adding  food coloring once you’ve got the water vibrating, to see how the coloring moves within the water.

Now where is Smell-o-vision, and when will that technology catch up with the rest?

Dimitri Detchev, Pinterest

Dimitri Detchev, Pinterest

Thumbnail photo by: Courtney Greene, Flickr

Posted on May 4, 2015 and filed under Article.