Chladni Plates


Ernst Chladni (1756-1827) was a German musician who studied the physics of sound. The Chladni Plate, one of his key inventions, was a flat piece of metal covered with a fine layer of sand; when a bow was drawn along one edge of the plate, the sand arranged itself in such a way that the nodal patterns became apparent.

This example consists of two circular brass plates held in an iron clamp. The Smithsonian Institution bought it in the 1860s, probably from Rudolph Koenig Paris.

Ref: Rudolph Koenig, Catalogue des Appareils d’Acoustique (Paris, 1865), pp. 25-26.

Maker: Koenig, Rudolph

Location: Currently not on view

Place Made: France: Île-de-France, Paris

See more items in: Medicine and Science: Physical Sciences


Exhibition Location:

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: PH.314581.2Catalog Number: 314581.2Accession Number: 205890

Object Name: sonorous figure plates

Measurements: overall: 4 3/4 in x 10 1/4 in x 7 3/4 in; 12.065 cm x 26.035 cm x 19.685 cmoverall: 4 3/4 in x 10 1/2 in x 7 7/8 in; 12.065 cm x 26.67 cm x 20.0025 cm


Record Id: nmah_1421131

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