School of Physics Lecture Demonstration Manual

Wb-4 The Chladni-Vibrating Plate

Published: Tuesday 14 March 2006 - Updated: Wednesday 30 March 2011

Aim

To demonstrate the Chladni figures i.e. the vibration modes of thin plates

Apparatus

Diagrams

Click on pictures to enlarge.

Chladni Plate Diagram

Description

The plate is firmly clamped to a suitable surface (trolley ) and a quantity of salt is sprinkled over the plate, making sure it covers the whole plate. The violin bow or other suitable instrument is then applied to the plate. With a little practice several modes of vibration can be achieved. Practice is required to obtain suitable figures from the bowed Chladni and it is recommended that only a small quantity of salt be used to ensure sharp, distinct nodal patterns. There is also available a bow constructed from stout fishing line and a hacksaw frame which is more robust and can better withstand any mistreatment.

Safety notes

Electrical safety 

Maintenance 

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