It’s time for another Episode Extra! (which is where you special blog readers get to check out really cool stuff to go along with my YouTube videos, like special features on a DVD, only way more special-er). This post originally appeared last April, but it was too cool not to share again.
This amazing art project goes along with my latest YouTube episode about gusty science: What Is Wind? Watch it (or else!) and feel the winds of science through your hair!
Luke Jerram is a colorblind artist based in the UK. Aeolus is a sonic creation that blends acoustic physics, inspirations from classical civilizations, and visual adventure. The arch is a large Aeolian harp, an ancient instrument that uses the wind’s vibration on strings to send a frequency down a long metal tube.
A listener in the center of the arch experiences sounds transmitted from a field of taut strings and naturally harmonic open tubes. In addition, the angle of light transmitted through the polished pipes creates an altered listening environment. The experience can change by the minute or hour depending on wind conditions.
The tightened strings vibrate due to something called the von Karman vortex street effect, where the vortex created behind a string causes it to vibrate. It’s similar to what happens when a car antenna begins to sing in the wind.
A true feat of beauty and science.
(via Luke Jerram)