Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Physics of Tibetan Singing Bowl

I've seen this on TV before in a documentary show, but I don't think I've been intrigue by it till now.

This is a video of the so-called Tebetan singing bowl:

And he's a paper describing the physics of it:

The Tibetan singing bowl : an acoustics and fluid dynamics investigation

Abstract: We present the results of an experimental investigation of the acoustics and fluid dynamics of Tibetan singing bowls. Their acoustic behavior is rationalized in terms of the related dynamics of standing bells and wine glasses. Striking or rubbing a fluid-filled bowl excites wall vibrations, and concomitant waves at the fluid surface. Acoustic excitation of the bowl's natural vibrational modes allows for a controlled study in which the evolution of the surface waves with increasing forcing amplitude is detailed. Particular attention is given to rationalizing the observed criteria for the onset of edge-induced Faraday waves and droplet generation via surface fracture. Our study indicates that drops may be levitated on the fluid surface, induced to bounce on or skip across the vibrating fluid surface.



IngridJ said...

I have a bowl like this, bought it in China some years ago. There was an exhibition about Tibetan buddhism. The sound is really thrilling!

Peeter Joot said...

I'd seen one of these at the Ontario Science Centre as a kid, when they hosted a Chinese exhibit. I recall the diameter as being about 1.5', but I was also little.

It was an amazing thing to experience. I think I was at that table for at least an hour, taking turns again and again to rub along the edge and get it to sprinkle misty water up into the air.

I'd love to know enough physics to understand what was going on in there!