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ERIC Number: EJ913074
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Jan
Pages: 4
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0031-921X
Chladni Patterns on Drumheads: A "Physics of Music" Experiment
Worland, Randy
Physics Teacher, v49 n1 p24-27 Jan 2011
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 Chladni (1756-1827) are often demonstrated for this purpose using metal plates, the use of drumheads offers several pedagogical and practical advantages in the lab.
American Association of Physics Teachers. One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740. Tel: 301-209-3300; Fax: 301-209-0845; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A