RossHill + Cymatics

Experiments into sound waves were made by Galileo around 1630, Robert Hooke in 1680, and then later refined by Ernst Chladni who published a book about them in 1787. They rubbed a violin bow across the edge of a smooth glass plate covered with flour or fine sand, then noticed the fascinating patterns that formed. These replicable patterns were called “Chladni figures,” now known as cymatics patterns.

You can see the nodal patterns more clearly by using an electronic signal generator to drive a metal plate, then adjusting the frequency steadily upwards. As the plate resonates it divides into areas that vibrate in opposite directions, and the sand will then gather at the nodal lines where no vibration is happening. Take a look at this video.

The shapes become increasingly complex as the frequency rises. You can also see the transition state between stable levels, where each pattern begins to rattle and break down for a while before it can re-form at a more complex pattern with the higher frequency. Again it is stable for a while, before the next shake and the transition to the next stable frequency.

Often we get worried and fearful when we see the structures around us beginning to shake and fall apart, and yet it’s often a sign of the required loosening up before the jump to a new state of operation or being. While the change in patterns seems unpredictable, you might notice that the way they shift from one state to the next can be quite similar each time.

So when we can become aware of how the transitions themselves are happening, the change process can be more comfortable even if we don’t yet know what the next state will look like.

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