Cymatics: Manipulating Matter Using Sound
It’s an area of scientific research that will be new to many of you, but Cymatics, as Lynda Arnold writes on the Ask Audio website, is the study of visible sound vibration and how sound can transform matter. “Sound guides us and shapes us, yet is an intangible force. We can capture sound in the digital realm where we can see waveforms. But, that only gives us a 2D view.”
As shown in the video above, which was posted on Youtube by Nigel Stanford, “Cymatics gives validity to the fact that everything that we perceive as hard objects, including our bodies, are actually continuously vibrating at their own rates. This study clearly merges the fields of sound, geometry, light and mathematics into one through the presentation of stunning images created by frequencies of all kinds found in our bodies, in nature and beyond.”
Research into what became known as Cymatics began as long ago as the 17th. century, with German physicist Ernst Chladni who found that bowing a metal plate with sand on it would create simple geometric shapes. More than a century later, Dr Hans Jenny started to conduct similar experiments with different liquids and solids and continuous vibrating frequencies.
Over the last 20 years scientists John Stuart Reid and Erik Larson have developed The CymaScope, which gives researchers even more control over the way sound influences the behaviour of matter so they can, for examples, study zero points – places where vibration does not exist and where the materials form the pattern that we can see – how liquid behaves, in a 3D space (see video immediately above), and that moment when matter moves from being in chaos to having an ordered pattern.
The patterns created during Cymatics experiments are beautiful and affecting and, as Lynda Arnold assets, “[what] started out to be a visual experiment … is continually evolving to include metaphysical, philosophical and environmental impact discussions as well. Everything is connected when we start to look at the basic essence of vibration.”