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Why do glasses sing when you rub them?


Why do glasses make a sound when you rub the rim?

3510 day(s) ago

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cabbagehead
Only crystal sings thanks to its hardness. When you rub on a regular glass, the vibration is absorbed by internal friction. In crystal there's less movement of the glass molecules against each other, letting the vibration travel across the glass. This is also why crystal rings when you tap it.

This can be used to make music with an instrument called the glass harp.

The size of the glass changes the vibration speed, which alters the pitch. While this set uses different sized glasses, most harps use identical glasses filled with varying amounts of water: Th water-filled area can't vibrate, changing the amount of glass that "sings." Wetting the fingers lets them drag against the rim evenly, creating a pure tone.

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