What Does Sound Look Like?

Weekend WonderingsHave you ever wondered what sound looks like? Wait a minute. Sound is what you hear, not what you see. According to Wikipedia:

Sound is a mechanical wave that is an oscillation of pressure transmitted through some medium (like air or water), composed of frequencies within the range of hearing.

There is a whole field of scientific research called cymatics, which studies making sound waves visible. Watch the following video. You will be amazed at the beautiful, complex designs created by different sound frequencies. To create these, sand or salt is sprinkled onto a metal plate which vibrates according to the frequency of the sound waves. The sand or salt moves as the frequency changes.

Pretty amazing, isn’t it? Many of the designs that show up in these studies are similar to the designs seen in much of nature. Scriptures says that God spoke the world into being. We are probably only scratching the surface in our understanding of what is really involved in sound.

Evan Grant studies cymatics and shares more about making sound visible in this short TED talk:

The next time you hear something (music, spoken words, sounds in nature, etc.) don’t just listen. Stop and think about what that sound might look like!


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