Cymatics: How The Elements React To Music [VIDEOS]

Yaniv Hefetz
Yaniv Hefetz

Science is a pretty amazing thing. Music too. But together, they can mesmerise your eyes! Sound frequencies can actually make shapes although they usually can’t be seen or noticed. If you take an element, such as water, fire or earth (sand), and use the right speakers and frequencies, you’ll be able to see the most interesting patterns take form. This is also known as cymatics.

Earth Element

Sand will change its shape and react differently, depending on the vibrations of the plate it’s on. The vibration changes each time you change the tone (pitch) on the tone generator the plate is attached to. The higher the pitch is, the more complex the pattern of the sand, or, in the case of the next video, salt:

Amazing, isn’t it?

That effect gets even cooler when testing those things on fire.

See Also: 5 Musical Superheroes You Didn’t Know About

Fire Element

The standing wave flame tube (or, ‘The Rubens’ tube’) is a pipe sealed on both ends. One of the ends is attached to a smaller speaker or frequency generator, and the other to a gas supply. The gas is leaking from a hole a long the top of the pipe. When the music is off – It’s kind of like the gas burners on your stovetop, but when the music is on – shapes are starting to form.

Here’s how fire reacts to different pop songs:

That experiment went further and was tested on a ‘2D’ tube, and not only on one line, which creates a fascinating merge between the sand experiment and the first fire experiment. Check it out:

Water Element

Water has the “you won’t believe your eyes” effect. While attaching a water source to a speaker, is depends on the placement of the tone generator and the hertz (Hz) of the sine wave you’re using. If using a 24Hz sine wave, it’ll look like the water is standing still in mid-air, while one hertz less (23Hz), the water will look like it’s getting back to the water source.

A second experiment, where the wave is hitting the water after it goes out of its source, made a stunning effect. The water, like in the previous experiment, looks like it stopped moving (usually less than before, though), and formed an unbelievable spiral shape. Here’s an example of that experiment. Notice the guy conducting the experiment changed the frequency of the wave, as in the previous experiment, which makes the water looks like it flows slower or faster.

Our body contains an average of 60% water. If that’s what music does to water, we can start to understand why music makes us want to move, thrill us and affect us so deeply. Music and science can create beautiful things together. It’s just a matter of time until new experiment arises seeing the effects of music on different objects.

See Also: Top 10 Musical Fails Of All Time

And it’s no surprise that there’s a band who used all of those amazing experiments in their video clip! Enjoy 🙂