What sound looks like … in GIFs: TEDx speaker Fabian Oefner visualizes sound
Above, GIFs from photographer (and TEDxWarwick speaker) Fabian Oefner’s talk at TEDGlobal 2013, “Psychedelic science.”
Says Fabian of his work:
Sound travels in waves, so if you have a speaker, a speaker actually does nothing else than taking the audio signal, transform it into a vibration, which is then transported through the air, is captured by our ear, and transformed into an audio signal again.
Now I was thinking, how can I make those sound waves visible? So I came up with the following setup. I took a speaker, I placed a thin foil of plastic on top of that speaker, and then I added tiny little crystals on top of that speaker. And now, if I would play a sound through that speaker, it would cause the crystals to move up and down. Now this happens very fast, in the blink of an eye, so, together with LG, we captured this motion with a camera that is able to capture more than 3,000 frames per second.
This is what that looks like. As Bill Nye says, "Science rules!"