Geometric Chladni Patterns
Q: In Serpent’s Gold the children strike a series of metal pots and pans, which causes some spilt sugar to form strange geometric patterns.
The idea for this scene came from the work of a German physicist and musician called Ernst Chladni, who performed early experiments with sound and vibration. He invented a technique which consisted of drawing a violin bow over a flat metal plate lightly covered with sand. The plate was bowed until it reached resonance and the sand formed a perfect geometric pattern. In the 20th century people achieved similar results by placing a loudspeaker over or under the plate. This technique of converting sound into patterns is so precise that variations of it are still used today in the design and construction of acoustic instruments such as violins, guitars, and cellos.
Have a look at this You Tube video to see how it works. It’s fascinating. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qf0t4qIVWF4