Cymatics Explained: A step-by-step Guide

Cymatics Explained: A Step-By-Step Guide

If you’ve ever been moved by music and wished it was something you could see in the air around you, you were daydreaming about cymatics, perhaps without realizing that it exists.

Cymatics is a phenomenon that’s defined as the study of visible sound vibration, as Ask Audio reports.

As unbelievable as it might sound, cymatics displays the changing nature of sound as well as matter.

Does cymatics display sound as images?

Everything, including sound, creates a vibration. Cymatics brings it to life in the form of images, thanks to the combination of light and mathematics. Cymatics is the process of making sounds we hear visible, like with the use of special fluids.

The sound waves need a medium, such as a gas, liquid, or solid, through which sound vibrations can be transmitted, and when they’re displayed, forming interesting and unbelievable patterns that we can see right in front of us.

Cymatics is really fascinating but there’s so much to know about it. Here’s a crash course of the myths and facts surrounding cymatics.

Cymatics: What Are The Facts?

While cymatics might seem confusing, an easy way to think about it is to see it as a display of the vibrations we experience in the world around us.

Let’s take a look at some of the most amazing cymatics facts.

  • Cymatics came about because of a Germany physicist called Ernst Chladni. He did an experiment in which he covered plates (known as Chladni plates) with layers of sand and made them vibrate. These plates are flat sheets of metal that have a central stem and base.
  • Chladni monitored the patterns that erupted as a result and earned himself the title of “Father of Acoustics.”
  • Cymatics makes use of a CymoScope. When sound reaches a membrane, it creates a geometric pattern on it. A CymoScope is a laboratory instrument that makes use of lighting techniques so that those patterns can become visible to the human eye. It was developed by John Stuart Reid in the UK.
  • Cymatics can make an object appear to defy gravity. If you have a plate with powder or other particles on it and you tip it, you can expect the matter to fall to the ground because of gravity. However, if you tip the plate while you apply sound to it, the matter will move upwards onto the plate to maintain its cymatic form!
  • There’s a CymoScope app you can download on your phone. This app makes piano and music sound visible, but it’s not just a simulation. The images that show up are ones that were created on an actual CymoScope and then were stored in digital memory. The app is available on both Android and iPhone, although it does cost a bit of money.

Myths Of Cymatics

Although there are many interesting facts about cymatics to enjoy, there are also some myths about it that do the rounds. Let’s debunk them!

Sound waves can heal injuries faster

Using Ultrasound On Hand

Although there have been studies to show promise for this theory, it’s still filled with uncertainty.

The truth is that there’s little scientific evidence to support therapeutic ultrasound at this point in time, which makes use of vibration to heal the body.

The Physical Therapy journal reports that there’s not enough evidence of the clinical effectiveness of therapeutic ultrasound when it’s used to treat musculoskeletal injuries and pain or encourage healing of soft tissues.

Cymatics could explain crop circles

In cymatics, frequencies create strong energy that results in what’s known as acoustic levitation.

Water droplets, for instance, move around or levitate because of the vibrations.

Based on this, it has been mused that crop circles are the result of acoustic levitation, but for this, there is no evidence. Crop circles still remain an unsolved mystery.

Cymatics helps people communicate with dolphins

Although it’s an exciting thought that cymatics could help to translate dolphin language so that we can communicate with these wonderful creatures, we have to separate the myths from the facts.

As yet, that dream has not happened. A non-profit organization called SpeakDolphin recently claimed that recording dolphin sounds and using a CymaScope to interpret them could enable us to see what a dolphin saw when it looked at a man underwater, Business Insider reports.

However, it made use of computer-enhanced versions of what the dolphin saw, and these images haven’t been supported by any published science or been peer-reviewed.

Although these myths might seem disappointing, who knows what the future of cymatics could hold for us and our universe?

Related Questions

Why is cymatics necessary?

Cymaticskin on Plate

Cymatics is not just about seeing amazing patterns created by sound. Cymatics shows us that everything has a vibration, and that includes our bodies.

This knowledge is something that affects us all and can offer a greater understanding of ourselves and the universe.

What are “zero points” in vibrating patterns?

These are places on the membrane or surface where vibration doesn’t exist, and so the materials don’t create a pattern.

While it’s easy to assume tones will produce vibrations on the entire surface, this isn’t the case. It’s the contrast of zero points and vibration that creates unique shapes.


Cymatics is a fascinating study that can bring music and sound to life for us, but it’s important to separate fact from fiction.

In this article, we’ve looked at the amazing facts and myths about cymatics. It’s clear to see, however, that its truth is more incredible than fiction!

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