The Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention & Innovation
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Curator Steven Turner demonstrates vibration patterns on a Chladni plate
The Chladni plate, named after the early acoustic scientist Ernst Chladni, who first studied the patterns, was used to study acoustics in the late 18th and the 19th centuries.The pattern seen here was formed when the plate was set vibrating by a violin bow. The Chladni plate is part of a collection of science teaching instruments donated to the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History by retired science teacher Richard Zitto.