Thursday, July 12, 2012

Visualizing Sound

Sound propagates outward from its source more like a bubble than a wave, according to John Stuart Reid.

He uses a Cymascope to capture the patterns of sound in a membrane of water, whose behavior is photographed, and, in this case, superimposed over the image of the violinist.

The technique has been used to study the patterns of sound made by birds, elephantsdolphins, and human vowel sounds.
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Gallery of history of Cymascope images

4 comments:

Jennifer Miller said...

Though this is more directly scientific and based on physical observations, I cannot help but be reminded of synesthesia.
Thank you for sharing!

Tristan Dugan said...

In my mind, I always pictured sound as a 2D rippling plane (I guess that's how I've seen it in illustrations). But as you say, this picture shows it emanates from the source in a 3-dimensional manner. (Now that I think about it, this makes much more sense!)

By the way, I've really enjoyed your last series of posts on vegetation and forests. I found reading your analysis of the different methods very helpful. Coming to your blog is like attending a great art class, it's always a pleasure!

Glenn Keelan said...

I have just watched this documentary James called "The song of the earth". It is so interesting how animals and humans communicate through music.

Greetings, Glenn
Link: http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/the-song-of-the-earth/

Dan Gurney said...

I found the link regarding dolphin communication fascinating. I recommend GJ readers to have a look at it. Here's a teaser:
"Dolphins appear to have leap-frogged human symbolic language and instead have evolved a form of communication outside the human evolutionary path. In a sense we now have a 'Rosetta Stone' that will allow us to tap into their world in a way we could not have even conceived just a year ago. The old adage, ‘a picture speaks a thousand words’ suddenly takes on a whole new meaning.”