Can You Hear The Shape Of A Drum?

How much can you tell about something's shape by the sound it makes? If we had to guess whether a sound we heard was produced in a small office or a huge cathedral, we would know immediately. But what if you had to guess whether the drum someone hit was round or rectangular? Could you do it? It turns out that this has been a question in mathematics for a long time. Explore the numbers behind the question in the video below.

Can We Hear Shapes?

Warning: there's calculus, but it's still entertaining.

The Sound Of Hydrogen

Bet you didn't even think it made a sound.

Key Facts In This Video

  1. This is what hydrogen would sound like if it emitted sound waves instead of light waves. 00:05

  2. The sound you hear is a false pitch sound. The pitch was shifted into the audible spectrum so that we could hear. 00:51

Written by Curiosity Staff December 30, 2016

Curiosity uses cookies to improve site performance, for analytics and for advertising. By continuing to use our site, you accept our use of cookies, our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.