Phenomena

The Inverted Glass Harp

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You may be familiar with the glass harp, the instrument created by rubbing the rim of a partially-filled wine glass. But did you know that you can create the same effect by immersing an empty glass in water? In this video, Dan Quinn explains the physics behind both types of glass harps and why the pitch changes as you add or remove water. Vibration is the driving factor (as with most sound), and the key to the shifting pitches has to do with the change in mass of the material being vibrated. For more great physics, also be sure to check out Quinn’s previous video on tears of wine.  (Video credit: D. Quinn)

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