If we could see sound our world would be even more beautiful than we could imagine. It would be a world filled with shimmering holographic bubbles each displaying a kaleidoscopic pattern on its surface. To see sound is to open a new window onto our world, one that has been veiled in mystery until recently.
Sound is an invisible force that permeates every aspect of our lives. With the exception of music, many man made sounds are jarring while the sounds of Nature tend to flow over and around us like soothing waters, lifting our spirit, inspiring us, exciting us. When microscope and telescope where invented they opened vistas on realms that were not even suspected.The fields of biology and cosmology would have remained close to you without these instruments.The cymascope holds the same potential for advancement as the microsope and telescope and its applications are on the brink of touching every aspect of human endeavour….
The Cymascope is a new type of scientific instrument that makes sound visible. Its development began in 2002, with a prototype that featured a thin, circular, P.V.C. membrane; later we used latex. Fine particulate matter was used as the revealing media. However, it was soon discovered that far greater detail could be obtained by imprinting sonic vibrations on the surface of ultra pure water. The surface tension of water has high flexibility and fast response to imposed vibrations, even with transients as short-lived as a few milliseconds. Therefore, water is able to translate many of the sinusoidal periodicities–in a given sound sample–into physical sinusoidal structures on the water’s surface. Current limits to imprinting sound on water occur in the higher harmonics and are due mainly to there being insufficient energy available in this area of the audio spectrum to cause excursions of the surface tension membrane.
In some cases the sinusoidal structures created on the surface tension are visible beneath the water’s surface, providing partial 3D geometrical data. These surface and sub-surface structures can readily be made visible to the naked eye by the application of a light source arranged above the water’s surface, either off-axis or–when using a light ring illuminator–on-axis. Capturing the imprints, known as CymaGlyphs, is achieved by means of a conventional digital camera or camcorder arranged vertically downward toward the water and coaxial with it.
The generic term for the patterns of vibration that occur on the surface of an object when excited by an incident sound is ‘modal phenomena,’ a field of study that covers everything from vibrations in suspension bridges, to vibrations in body parts of cars, to the effects of sound on the human skeleton and internal organs. In the 1970’s this branch of science was named ‘cymatics’ by Swiss doctor Hans Jenny, a word that derives from the Greek ‘kyma,’ meaning ‘wave’ and the inspiration for the name of our CymaScope instrument. The classical view of modal phenomena is that modal patterns form as a consequence of the natural resonant frequencies, or modes, of the object or membrane; current mathematical techniques used to describe this class of phenomena say nothing about the quality of the exciting sound. Musical sounds contain many harmonics so when a circular membrane is excited by a complex musical sound the resulting modal pattern(s) are, naturally, also complex. If we sample a moment from music and analyze it in terms of its fundamental frequency and associated harmonics, and then apply that sample to, say, a circular latex membrane of known elasticity, known diameter and fixed edge, present mathematical techniques cannot predict what pattern will form on the membrane. It appears that no one has attempted to solve this problem, either because no applications for a solution have become evident or because physicists have not seen the importance of mathematically modeling such phenomena. Only the pattern associated with the fundamental frequency can be predicted with any degree of certainty. Mathematical modelling of the modes of vibration of a circular flexible membrane currently contain only such factors as shape and elacticity of the materials; the mathematics either describe a fixed boundary condition, in the case of a drum, or a single central fixing and a free edge in the case of a circular Chladni plate. Bessel functions and the wave equation are employed to define a finite number of normal modes, based on the natural resonances of the membrane or plate.
However, the parameters for the CymaScope are quite different to the case of the drum and the circular resonant plate. Water is free to move at the circular boundary and across its entire surface area. In addition, water responds not only to its normal modes but to any audible frequency imposed on it. In other words, within the limits mentioned above, all the primary periodicities in a given audible sound or in a given sample of music are rendered visible. The resulting patterns can be considered as analogs of the sound or music since the geometry in the resulting patterns is a function of the periodicities within the exciting sound.
Your voice is a holographic representation of all that you are and contains all aspects of your energetic field. Ancient sages have taught for millennia that the voice is a bridge to the divine. This quote from a Greek traveler in Egypt sums it up perfectly:
“In Egypt, when priests sing hymns to the gods, they sing the seven vowels in
due succession and the sound of these vowels has such euphony that men
listen to it instead of the flute and the lyre.” Demetrius 200 BCE
SOUND AND ITS RELATIONSHIP WITH LIGHT
To understand the concept of visual sound a little more fully it will be helpful to explore how the vibrating atoms of air that create sound relate to light and life. At the moment of these atomic sound collisions something quite magical happens: Light is created. Light occurs every time the magnetic shells of two vibrating atoms bump against each other. The frequency of light created in this way depends on the energy in the collisions, meaning how fast they bump together. Try this experiment: Rub your hands vigorously together. You’ll feel warmth. This is because the atoms in one hand are slipping past the atoms in your other hand, creating heat, which is just another name for light. The light you create by this friction method is in the infrared part of the spectrum of electromagnetism, invisible to our eyes but quite visible to some species of bat, owl, snake and mosquito. You create infrared light even when you speak. The atoms and molecules in the air are excited by the vocal folds in your larynx, creating a tiny pearl of acoustic energy that rapidly expands out of your mouth and rushes away at around 700 miles an hour. The atoms and molecules of air within this expanding bubble are bumping into each other, each collision transferring your voice vibrations to the nearest atom or molecule. As these ‘bumps’ occur they cause infrared light to be created due to the friction between the magnetic shells of theair particles. The infrared light carries with it the modulations of your voice that rush away at the incredible speed of 186,000 miles per second. Unlike the sound of a voice, which becomes inaudible after about one mile, the infrared light created by your voice rushes out into space where it travels for eternity, carrying your words or songs to the stars. Thus, there is a direct relationship between sound and light and in fact there can be no light in the Universe without sound because light is only created when atoms collide with each other, and such collisions are sound. So light and life owe their existence to sound.
Cymatics today is the window to the universe.The underlying principle of cymatics is that the geometry of sound can be imprinted onto membranes and made visible with special techniques, hence it has applications in every branch of science.
Animal communication has been studied for decades although reliably identifying animal sounds has proven to be extraordinarily difficult. Holding a ‘conversation’ with another species remains a dream for zoologists and ornithologists but recent research in the field of dolphin communication, using the CymaScope, is beginning to show promise. The CymaScope can simplify the complex sounds a dolphin makes into “picture words” that we call CymaGlyphs, each picture representing a dolphin’s word for a given object. Dolphins have regular eyes but they also “see with sound” and can beam a sound picture of a predator to other dolphins. By creating a lexicon of dolphin CymaGlyphs, it should eventually be possible to hold a rudimentary conversation in which a computer converts a human word into a dolphin word and the dolphin’s reply is then converted into human words–an exciting prospect!
The key to this technique is the CymaScope, a new instrument that reveals detailed structures within sounds, allowing their architecture to be studied pictorially. Using high definition audio recordings of dolphins, the research team, headed by English acoustics engineer, John Stuart Reid, and Florida-based dolphin researcher, Jack Kassewitz, has been able to image, for the first time, the imprint that a dolphin sound makes in water. The resulting “CymaGlyphs,” as they have been named, are reproducible patterns that are expected to form the basis of a lexicon of dolphin language, each pattern representing a dolphin ‘picture word.’
Certain sounds made by dolphins have long been suspected to represent language but the complexity of the sounds has made their analysis difficult. Previous techniques, using the spectrograph, display cetacean (dolphins, whales and porpoises) sounds only as graphs of frequency and amplitude. The CymaScope captures actual sound vibrations imprinted in the dolphin’s natural environment—water, revealing the intricate visual details of dolphin sounds for the first time.
One of the many applications for the CymaScope lies in making visible sounds from the interior of the earth, planets, stars, nebulae and galaxies Another application for the CymaScope is imaging sounds from space. We discussed earlier the concept that all sounds have an infrared component. When we speak or sing outdoors our words or song will one day reach the stars in the form of modulated infrared light. But the reverse is also true: sounds from stars continually bathe the earth. Oscillating stars have a particular type of signature and in collaboration with Professor Don Kurtz we recently imaged the sound of a star that he discovered, known as HR 3831-A. This technique allows us to see the distinctive geometry of the sounds at work within the atomic furnace of the star and could provide a valuable analogue for future students of asteroseismology and for outreach projects in schools and colleges.
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“Sound is the medicine of the future.” Edgar Cayce
Resonance may be the most important principle of sound healing and has various definitions. In the context of healing humans or animals it can be described as the frequency of vibration that is most natural to a specific organ or system such as the heart, liver or lungs. This innate frequency is known as the prime resonance. All cells emit sound as a consequence of their metabolic processes. There is an interaction between the cells own sounds and those imposed by the environment, including those applied by sound healing devices. The resonance principle relates to the cellular absorption of the healing sounds and/or their harmonics. In sound healing, resonance principles are employed to re-harmonize cells that have been (hypothetically) imprinted with disruptive frequencies. Such troublesome imprints may have been a result of toxic substances, emotional traumas, pathogens, or long-term exposure to noise pollution.
The role of cymatics in sound healing: All sounds have structure and form when manifest on membranes, including the surface membranes of cells. It is possible that when the arrangement pattern of ion channels on the surface membrane of a cell is triggered by sonic energy pattern that match or at least come close to the geometric arrangement of the ion channel’s the ion channels will be stimulated, triggering the replication response.
Sumanth (MGIT ECE 2nd year)
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