Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Here's my new video I've just put up to accompany a blog entry from last fall called Cymatics, Gravity and Light. As I mention at the start of this video, "Cymatics" is the study of sound and vibrations made visible.

A direct link to the above video is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9eTrsIOGIZo

So let's talk a little more about Cymatics this time. Here's an image of what's known as a Chladni Plate, first discussed in a book published by Ernst Chladni in 1787. Chladni refined a technique which involved drawing a violin bow over a piece of metal whose surface is lightly covered with sand. The plate is bowed until a musical tone is produced and the sand forms a pattern like the one in this picture, or many others possible patterns depending upon the note produced. In other words, this is a form of cymatics, in which we can actually visualize the sound being produced by this vibrating metal platform.

In my video above I showed images from another YouTube video called Hidden World: Cymatics. Here's that video, which shows how in modern times it has become more common to place a loudspeaker driven by an electronic signal generator over or under the plate to achieve a more accurate adjustable frequency, and with the added benefit that we can see the patterns changing from one to another in a repeatable fashion as different frequencies are played.

A direct link to the above video is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bxV0FrFMxUY

Here are two images from the video: the one on the left is an oval-shaped Chladni Plate being driven by a certain frequency, and the one on the right is (of course) a tortoise. See any similarities?

Hidden World: Cymatics looks at the work of German photographer Alexander Lauterwasser, who has made it his mission to catalogue the different patterns that can be found in a Chladni Plate, and to point out the connections between these patterns to those found in the natural world we see around us. Here we are looking at some of the "Chladni Sound figures" (as they refer to them here) seen in this video.

These pictures show how the cymatics patterns change with the increasingly high frequency being generated to excite the Chladni Plate. I find it fascinating to think that a tortoise, whose awareness seems to more slow and deliberate, would have markings on the shell that correspond to a relatively low tone. Are these creatures plugged into a longer groove, a deeper music than we are?

Here's a quote from near the end of their promo video which does a nice job of explaining my fascination with Chladni Plates and Cymatics:

"The sand is pushed from areas where the vibration is strongest, and collects where it is the weakest, forming patterns that correspond to the particular tone that is applied to the plate. The higher the frequency applied, the more complex and detailed is the pattern that results."

As you can see in the last screens from this video, Hidden World: Cymatics video is actually a promo for one of a set of DVDs, which I haven't seen but I'm interested in viewing some day.

The central idea to Imagining the Tenth Dimension is that our unique universe is being generated at the fifth dimension, and this month I've been focusing on how the interaction of gravity and light is at the root of this process. This takes us back to my original contention proposed at the end of my popular animation that we might find this useful as a way to imagine how exquisitely tiny superstrings vibrating in the tenth dimension could be what produce our reality. As I say at the end of Cymatics, Gravity and Light:
Our beautiful, chaotic, fractal world is like a much more highly detailed version of the Cymatics patterns we're looking at above: our universe is the shadow of an extra-dimensional hologram, created (as all holograms are) through constructive interference to reveal the reality each of us are observing right here, and right now.
Clearly, the vibrations that produce the subatomic particles of our observed reality must be much higher than the vibrations that produce the patterns on the shell of a tortoise, but I'm proposing that they are both part of the same continuum. Is that not an exciting idea? I hope that you're enjoying the journey!

Rob Bryanton

Next: Timelike Entanglement

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