The Naked Scientists Forum

Author Topic: How does a singer break a glass with her voice?  (Read 2053 times)

Paul Anderson

• Guest
How does a singer break a glass with her voice?
« on: 02/09/2008 17:48:54 »
Paul Anderson  asked the Naked Scientists:
Dear Chris and team,

A singer hits a high note and a crystal glass breaks.

Why?

Is it because the singer has hit the resonant frequency of the crystal?

Does it shatter at the instant the note is reached? Does it require a certain persistence of that note?

If three crystal glasses are set up. The first glass A has walls half the thickness of the the 2nd glass B which has the normal thickness. The third glass C has walls twice the thickness of the 2nd glass. The singer sings again. At a certain time the 2nd glass shatters. The singer continues and goes further up in frequency. What happens to glasses A and C? With half the thickness does glass A shatter before B and does glass C shatter after B if the right frequency is reached?
What is the relationship amongst the three frequencies?

If we repeat the experiment, but this time all glasses have the normal thickness, but A has half the diameter of B and C has twice the diameter of B. The singer sings. What happens now?

We repeat the experiment but this time all glasses have the same diameter and thickness, but A is shorter, B is normal and C is taller.
The singer sings. What happens now?

Is there a relationship between the diameter of the glass and the frequency at which the glass shatters?

Is a sound wave being trapped in the glass which bounces from wall to wall and on meeting in the centre is thrust back against the walls, causing the walls to collapse?

Regards
Paul
NZ

What do you think?

RD

• Neilep Level Member
• Posts: 8127
• Thanked: 53 times
How does a singer break a glass with her voice?
« Reply #1 on: 03/09/2008 02:37:43 »
This video may be of interest...

The Naked Scientists Forum

How does a singer break a glass with her voice?
« Reply #1 on: 03/09/2008 02:37:43 »