Research

The Tibetan Singing Bowl

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Rubbing a Tibetan singing bowl creates sound and a spray of droplets inside the container. But the reverse works, too! Instead of rubbing the bowl, one can project sound at it to make the droplets dance. In the video above, the speaker plays a sinusoidal wave at a frequency that resonates with the bowl. It activates the most basic vibrations in the bowl, making it bulge slightly front-to-back and then side-to-side. This is called the fundamental vibrational mode. The bowl doesn’t change shape enough to see by eye, but you can tell where the bowl is flexing the most – at the four points where the droplets are ejected! The larger vibrations there are what create the spray of droplets. (Video credit: D. Terwagne)

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