Chladni Figures

By Anupum Pant

If you take a surface, membrane with a layer of loose particles or certain liquids on it, you’ll see that these particles get arranged in beautiful patterns if the membrane is made to vibrate with varying frequencies.

This phenomenon has been known for a long time now, probably since the time when early human tribes used to put grains of sand on drums made of taut animal skin. Since then Leonardo Da Vinci and Galileo Galilei have been known to have observed this phenomenon by hitting or scraping a surface covered with visible particles and .

Later, with information gleaned from Galileo’s and Leonardo’s notes, in the year 1680, Robert Hooke, English scientist from the Oxford University, devised a simple equipment which demonstrated this effect much clearly. He made a glass plate covered with flour to vibrate with the help of a violin bow. And observed beautiful patterns.

Much later, Ernst Chladni explained these figures using mathematics, spread it all across Europe and made a lasting impression on The French Academy of Sciences. These patterns thus came to be known as Chladni figures.

Brusspup, a YouTube channel known for it’s amazing videos demonstrates these Chladni figures on video.

Today, this study, which makes sound and vibration visible to the naked eye, is called Cymatics.

Liquid Nitrogen Experiments

By Anupum Pant

Short of time and keeping up with a busy schedule, I looked around for something interesting to learn today and I found this cool video of very interesting experiments that were done with liquid Nitrogen on ScienceDump. There are 11 such experiments that are shown in the video…

The first one is a Liquid Nitrogen explosion, something like this professor did some time back. To demonstrate his students how Liquid Nitrogen expanded, he blew up a container of Liquid nitrogen to toss 1,500 ping-pong balls. [Video]

Is an Aeolipile, or a rocket styled jet engine made using liquid nitrogen A.K.A Hero engine. Liquid nitrogen heats up inside a container, expands and comes out of tiny orifices to create a jet that makes the container spin. A simpler version of it can be done using a ping pong ball (again). [Video]

The third one simply is a demonstration of what happens when you eat a biscuit dipped in Liquid Nitrogen.

Fourth one again is something you’ll have to see to get really impressed by what some solids at very low temperatures can do. A nice demonstration of something similar is done on this video. [Video]

Fifth one! Oh, the Leidenfrost effect. We’ve talked enough about it already. [Here]

Others are all pretty interesting too. The eight one probably takes the cake – brings back a dead creature to life, or does it…. But I won’t spoil them for you. Watch the video now…

The Weissenberg Effect

By Anupum Pant

Remember the time we talked about a boiled egg spinning on a pool of milk? If you don’t then it’s good to know that if you do spin a hard-boiled egg on a pool of milk (or any relatively viscous liquid) the milk mysteriously climbs the side of the egg, reaches the equator, and then sprinkles around beautifully. It’s fun to see it happen. This is something similar…

The thing we see today is called the Weissenberg effect and this is how it works.

You take a spinning rod and put it into a solution of liquid polymer (which is usually very viscous). And when you do that, you see that the liquid polymer magically climbs the walls of the rod.

Some liquids reach a little high and never beyond. While others can climb up really high. The difference in heights to which different liquids can climb to is demonstrated in the following video very clearly. The three liquids used in it are as follows:

  1. Guar gum solution crosslinked with sodium tetraborate
  2. Pancake batter
  3. and Dyed glue crosslinked with sodium tetraborate.
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