Sam Lippincott – Get Wet – Simple Cymatics

Sam Lippincott – Get Wet – Simple Cymatics

2023, 2023 Get Wet

Cymatics is the study of visualizing sound waves in a medium. Here I demonstrated how simple it can be to create a cymatics experiment by placing a tray of water on an amp and plucking the string of an electric bass. The vibration from the amp causes the water to demonstrate the sound’s sine wave forms.

Experimental Setup

The experimental setup is extraordinarily simple. The materials used were a metal baking tray, an electric bass, an amp, enough water to fill the tray about 1/2 an inch and the camera with which to capture it all. You’ll see a beaker in the image, which I used to mix up water and cornstarch in order to iterate on the best medium to view the wave forms in. This fluid turned out not to be as interesting as the images of the water.

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11 Comments. Leave new

  • Ciaran Rochling
    Dec 15, 2023 10:31

    Hey Sam!
    System Dynamics in action! Prof Ruben would love this! This is a great representation of the different resonant frequencies of the system. I love the lighting and flat color pallet chosen as well. I think it really makes the image pop. Great job!

  • Cameron Sprenger
    Dec 14, 2023 12:02

    The uniformity of the waves is so cool. I love that the image is black and white because it adds so much contrast which highlights the shape of the waves better.

  • Jonathon Gruener
    Dec 13, 2023 13:47

    I think this is an awesome photo. Great job explaining how you went through this and chose the final image.

  • Sierra Greeley
    Nov 27, 2023 21:14

    Hello Sam,
    I think that this idea is so interesting because I would never have thought to do this. I also think that the contrast that you got in this image is outstanding. The black and white really make the contrast stand out.

  • Haotian Chen
    Sep 21, 2023 01:57

    I like the dizzying feel of this, but by dizzying I mean these waves instead of the colors. I think you made the right decision to use just the black and white colors, which helps us observe the resonance itself. I noticed some out-of-focus at the top, which may affect the observation of the waves. May consider a stronger background light with a smaller aperture.

  • Izzy Young
    Sep 20, 2023 13:03

    I really like the black and white coloring of this, I think it displays the phenomenon well and creates an interesting image by not having distracting colors.

  • Monica Luebke
    Sep 19, 2023 14:44

    Sam, this was a great way to capture a unique set of fluid flow. I like the contrast coloring you selected. I noticed that the top of the image was out of focus slightly more than the rest, was this intentional during the shooting or did you edit it afterwards to focus the eye towards the middle of the image?

  • Abhishek Raut
    Sep 18, 2023 13:19

    Hi Sam
    This is a unique setup, using the electric bass as the sound input for the cymatics.
    It was a nice idea to check different notes and strings to observe the cymatics, as you answered.
    I do wonder how the shape of the container might affect the cymatics. As well as dissolving salt or sugar in the water as that would change its density.
    The monochromatic color scheme adds to the aesthetics making it a beautiful image. Nice!

  • Avery Fails
    Sep 18, 2023 12:57

    I think the black and white really accentuates the gradient of the valleys and a colored image would blur the strong visual this creates.

  • Hannah DelGuercio
    Sep 18, 2023 12:46

    This is awesome to look at and very soothing. I like the idea behind it, and it is a great visual representation of the frequencies coming from the amp.

  • Peter Jakubczak
    Sep 18, 2023 12:39

    Very unique idea. How did you come up with this? Also what was the cornstarch for?


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