Friday, January 27, 2012

OscylinderScope sculpture allows you to see sound waves

The OscylinderScope is an interactive sculpture by Norman Tuck that explores the nature of sound in a visual way. The OscylinderScope uses a moving black and white striped background to show the behavior of vibrating strings.

How the OscylinderScope works:

Spin the black and white cylinder and pluck the guitar strings. When you look at the strings, the wavy lines that you see show you how the strings behave when they vibrate to produce sound. Both the tension and the length of a string effect the frequency of vibration (pitch of the sound). Shorter or tighter strings vibrate faster to make higher tones. Longer or looser strings vibrate slower to make lower tones.

There are over a dozen OscylinderScopes around the world. The one shown here is located at San Francisco's Exploratorium.

Read more about the OscylinderScopes and where you can find one on Norman Tuck's web site. Also check out many other amazing kinetic sculptures by Norman Tuck.

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