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Tibetan singing bowls

Denis Terwagne1 and John W M Bush2

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Recommended by D Lohse

We present the results of an experimental investigation of the acoustics and fluid dynamics of Tibetan singing bowls. Their acoustic behaviour 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.


43.75.Yy Instrumentation and techniques for measurements

43.40.At Experimental and theoretical studies of vibrating systems

47.35.Rs Sound waves

02.30.Nw Fourier analysis

43.40.Dx Vibrations of membranes and plates


65T50 Discrete and fast Fourier transforms

76Q05 Hydro- and aero-acoustics


Fluid dynamics

Mathematical physics


Issue 8 (August 2011)

Received 8 April 2010

Published 1 July 2011


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  1. Tibetan singing bowls

    Denis Terwagne and John W M Bush 2011 Nonlinearity 24 R51

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