Phenomena

Resonating Bowls

Rub your hands on the handles of a Chinese resonance bowl and you can generate a spray of tiny droplets. The key to this, as the name suggests, is vibration. Rubbing the handles vibrates the bowl, causing small oscillations in the bowl’s shape that are too small for us to see. But those vibrations do produce noticeable ripples on the water in the bowl. When you hit the right frequency and amplitude, those vibrations disturb the water enough that the up-and-down vibration at the surface actually ejects water droplets. The vibration of the bowl affects water near the wall most strongly, which is why that part of the bowl has the strongest reaction. It takes even larger amplitude vibrations to get droplets jumping in the middle of the bowl, but you can see that happening in this video of a Tibetan singing bowl. (Image/video credit: Crazy Russian Hacker, source)

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