School of Physics Lecture Demonstration Manual

Wd-4 Resonance Smashing of a Wine Glass

Published: Wednesday 15 March 2006 - Updated: Wednesday 30 March 2011


To smash a wine glass using sound waves at the resonant frequency.



Click on pictures to enlarge.

Wine Glass Diagram


Smashing a Wine Glass


A clean wine glass is positioned a few centimetres from the horn loudspeaker in the cabinet shown above. A light mirror rests against the rim and acts as a detector of resonance. The frequency of the signal generator is swept slowly through the 1000 1600 range until resonance is indicated by a circular Lissajous figure projected on the screen. At this point the amplifier output is increased whereby the glass will explode under the action of the rim oscillations.

Safety notes

Electrical safety 

Laser safety 

Sharps safety 


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