Here are 10 of the top most interesting facts about cymatics, this rapidly growing but still “underground” field of study spanning art, science and medicine…
1. Cymatics turns sound into a visible pattern that is often geometric in nature.
2. Cymatics may be the “clue” that proves sound is not a wave but a bubble.
3. Cymatics is used to help the hearing impaired learn to speak clearly. In fact a deaf student at the University of Edinburgh used cymatics to create a sound-based art show at his graduation.
4. Cymatic symbols may have been imbedded inside a chapel in Scotland in order to “encode” music secretly in the carved stone cubes lining the ceiling of the chapel.
6. Cymatics is currently being used by reseracher John Stuart Reid to record and decode the language of dolphins, including creating a “dolphin alphabet.”
7. Cymatics plates were played with a violin bow for astonished victorian audiences by Ernst Chaldini, the “father of acoustics,” in the 1700’s. (The same technique was used to create the plates in the photo above in 2009).
8. Cymatics can make matter actually “defy gravity” – for example, if you tip a plate sideways with liquid or particles on it, the matter will fall downward; but if sound is applied to the plate, the liquid will climb back up the plate to keep it’s cymatic form in defiance of gravity.
9. Cymatics has been quietly used by violin makers for years to help build better violins: by watching the shape of particles inside the violin they can perfect their carving of the body
And last but not least…
10. Cymatics can be used to see the geometric patterns of your voice at home using table salt and a simple device made out of 3 things you can get at the hardware store. You can get free instructions for how to make this device here.
P.S. Do you know about a “cymatic fact” (or maybe just a rumor worth investigating) that wasn’t listed above? Please let me know about it in the “comments” below, and I may include it in a future article!