Cinema Issue Playlist – Music to read the upcoming Cinema issue by…

Red Movie Theatre Curtain

Photo courtesy of flickr member, Michael Glasgow

Music to read the upcoming GLIMPSE Cinema issue (#9) by:

Astronomic Club (from the cinematic score for Le Voyage Dans La Lune), Air
Man with a Movie Camera,
The Cinematic Orchestra
The Harsh Truth of the Camera Eye,
Drive In Saturday
, David Bowie
Cinema Tonight, Low vs. Diamond
Cigarettes in the Theatre, Two Door Cinema Club
Lights, Camera, Action! (Instrumental) Remix, Mr. Cheeks
Clint Eastwood, Gorillaz
The Camera, Lemongrass
Drive-in Show, Eddie Cochran
Movie Magg, Paul McCartney
Saturday Night at the Movies, The Drifters
I Turn My Camera On, Spoon
Cinema, Benny Benassi


Visualizing Sound with the Ruben’s Tube

by Myya McGregory

Is it possible to visualize sound? The Rubens’ Tube invented in 1905 by Heinrich Ruben, a German physicist, might be able to help us answer this question.

Students of physics might be very familiar with this contraption, but for those that are not, it might be helpful to think of a gas grill burner. Just like a gas grill burner, a Rubens’ tube is just a tube with holes in it attached to gas tank. The only difference is the other side is attached to the speaker of a frequency generator.

The idea of being able to see sound is predicated on sound traveling in waves. Humans can only hear frequencies from approximately 12 hz to 20 hz. In addition to hearing the sounds, we can also feel the vibrations from these sounds.

Rubens’s Tube by Flickr member, Pete

The height of the flame is determined by Bernoulli’s Principle since pressure is equal throughout the tube. When sound waves travel through the tube combining with the pressure from the gas, flames peak at the antinodes of the sine wave. When the gas pressure is lowered the amplitude of the flames will be higher at the nodes.  Mythbusters explains it well.

Now that we have established that sound waves can be visualized, let’s have some fun with it!

Jared Ficklin takes the concept one step further in his most recent TED talk. He brings out a flame table and digital renderings to examine eigenmodes, the vibrational modes of oscillating systems. This way he can analyze the effects of more than one frequency and show the complexity of sound. He even created a rendering of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit”.

How do you visualize sound? Have you ever seen a sound wave? Share your stories below!

Beautiful Music: A symphony of science

Image courtesy of NASA and The Hubble Heritage Team (AURA/STScI)

Excuse us for a moment while we take a break from the art + science of seeing and venture into the art + science of listening. What do you get when you auto-tune some of the most influential voices in science, compile them together, and compose music around them? A Symphony of Science, of course. Composer John Boswell explores the philosophy and beauty that lie within the many different fields of science through music. Listening to one of his three-minute songs allows you to reflect on the great mysteries of the cosmos, galaxies, the human body.  Boswell’s most well-known creation is “A Glorious Dawn,” a song filled with Carl Sagan’s musings and insights on the universe; however, over here at GLIMPSE,  we also enjoy his most recent, “Ode to the Brain”— the auto-tuned voices (which bring out the kitschy science nerd in all of us) are unexpectedly poetic. Each song is quite catchy and as we bop our head to the beat, we gain a deeper understanding of our vast, infinite surroundings.

Happy Pi Day!

Image courtesy of member Mykel Roventine

Readers, it’s March 14, one of the two most important days for math and science enthusiasts everywhere (we can’t forget October 23, Mole Day). Besides eating delicious pie and reciting the first 75 digits of the famous number at 3:14 AM and PM you should also watch this video, ‘What Pie Sounds Like,’ by Michael Blake.

Blake assigned a musical note to a corresponding number, interpreting Pi to 31 decimal places. The GLIMPSE team loves anything that combines the left and right sides of the brain and he manages to do so with some incredible results. So celebrate this Pi Day with baked goods, rote memorization, and beautiful music!