wave pendulum


A simple pendulum system of different lengths is used to produce visual travelling waves. Completely mesmerising and well worth the minute and a bit it takes to watch.

(Via Youtube)

Simple Pendulum wave animation. You can see the wave go from travelling waves, to standing waves, to a (briefly) beating pulse, and then chaotic motion, and back to travelling. Perhaps its just me, but this is clearer on the real thing.

“This animation may be subject to floating-point errors.”

But it’s beautiful. | credit to Jeff Irwin


Get hypnotized by this wave pendulum … seriously, I can’t look away.

A wave pendulum like this is built of equally weighted objects suspended by different (and carefully calculated) lengths of string. Released simultaneously, their differing periods (frequencies of oscillation) cause them to form a “wave” image together that cycles through all possible patterns. 

It’s mind-boggling. Looking for a science fair project? This would be a great one.

(via Citadel Physics)


This is mesmerising. This ‘wave pendulum’ is a great visual representation of phasing, a phenomenon in science and music alike.


I DARE you to try and look away.

Can’t do it, can ya?


A mesmerizing pendulum wave demonstration with 16 bowling balls in a North Carolina forest

If you’ve ever been to a science museum or taken a physics class, you’ve probably encountered an example of a pendulum wave. This video shows a large-scale pendulum wave contraption built on private property in the mountains of North Carolina, near Burnsville. The mechanism relies on 16 precisely hung bowling balls on a wooden frame that swing in hypnotic patterns for a cycle of about 2 minute and 40 seconds. 


An audiovisual composition applying the concept of the wave pendulum to a series of unfortunate cats who have been dropped upside down by evil scientists. The cats are able to deftly shift their weight and land on their feet, but no! They are magically returned to the hands of their oppressors.

A wave pendulum is a series of pendulums hung from carefully cut lengths which allow them to drift out of alignment, through a sequence of harmonic phase positions, and then back into alignment again (here’s a nice example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1M8ciWSgc_k)

The piano part is created by assigning a pitch to each cat, which is heard when that particular cat hits the ground. The surrounding atmospheric sound is made by processing the piano signal.

Dying bird.
From portending stalemate 
crawls a gray mess of deflated feathers, 
and the one wing lifted still
and the one wing a tightfisted sail
choking bottle-necked breeze
that snakes the frigid ground.

The tilted rest of your head
beneath the reaching wing, as if
mortal abandon were a muscle that if flexed enough
could scale a now-blue incorporeity—the 
slowed blinking, a
pendulum wave approaching its
With daydream’s epilogue you
sleep. Dead bird, your
mortality beneath the slipping 
sun, this easy beauty, a catch
in the wind.