Chladni Patterns on Drumheads: A “Physics of Music” Experiment
The Physics Teacher
In our “Physics of Music” class for non?science majors, we have developed a laboratory exercise in which students experiment with Chladni sand patterns on drumheads. Chladni patterns provide a kinesthetic, visual, and entertaining way to illustrate standing waves on flat surfaces and are very helpful when making the transition from one?dimensional systems, such as string and wind instruments, to the two?dimensional membranes and plates of the percussion family. Although the sand patterns attributed to Ernst Florens Friedrich Chladni1 (1756–1827) are often demonstrated for this purpose using metal plates,2–4 the use of drumheads offers several pedagogical and practical advantages in the lab.
Worland, R. ( 2011). Chladni Patterns on Drumheads: A "Physics of Music" Experiment. Physics Teacher, 49, 1, 24-27.