Exploring Sound Waves

Exploring Sound Waves


In the 19th century, scientists did not know much about sound and how it travels. A scientist named Ernst Chladni was one of the first to understand the relationship between sound and waves. Follow along and discover how he made this connection. 


To learn more about acoustics instruments, go to the Introduction to Acoustics Instruments video. As you watch this video, think about the following questions. You can record your answers to these questions on the Exploring Sound Waves student sheet. You will discuss these questions in class.

  • What is acoustics?
  • Why were ancient peoples interested in sound?
  • What did early scientists think sound was?
  • What did tuning forks illustrate?
  • How has the study of sound changed?

Now go to the Introduction to the Chladni Plate video to see what happens to the plate once it is strummed by a bow. You will replicate this experiment in class or participate in a demonstration.

There are many different ways to conduct this experiment. Check out these websites to see other ways of doing this experiment:


This esheet is a part of the Making Sound Waves Visible: Exploring Chladni Plates lesson.

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