Exploring the World of Sound and Visible Sound—part 1


This article provides the student with a 101 primer in the fundamental principles of sound by exploring sound and vibration, frequency, pitch, harmonics, nodes and anti-nodes, wavelength, resonance and resonant frequency. Sound has been an invisible force throughout history, affecting every aspect of our lives and scientists from the Renaissance to the present day have experimented with ways to make sound visible. If we can see something we can often understand it better than with our other senses. In the words of Sir Isaac Newton, “We are like children playing on the seashore while the great ocean of truth lies before us.” The truth is that in the world of sound our toes are barely wet, but John Stuart Reid not only whets our toes in part 1 of this article, he also hands us a metaphorical towel so we stay grounded in science.