Acoustics and Vibration Animations
Professor of Acoustics
Director of Distance Education
Graduate Program in Acoustics
The links below contain animations illustrating acoustics and vibration, waves and oscillation concepts. I started using Mathematica to create animations to help me understand and visualize certain acoustics and vibration phenomena in 1992 while I was a Ph.D. student in the Graduate Program in Acoustics at Penn State. For the next 16 years (1995-2011) I was a physics professor at Kettering University and continued creating animations and using them as educational tools for the courses I was teaching about waves and acoustics. Sometime around 1998 or so I began writing webpages and adding them to this online collection. Now that I'm back at Penn State, teaching graduate level acoustics, I'm continuing to add to my collection of animations. My intent has always been to create physically and mathematically correct animations, accompanied by explanatory text, that illustrate complicated phenomena involving waves and vibration in a manner that aids student understanding. I hope you find these animations useful.
All contents of these pages are ©1998-2013 by Daniel A. Russell and may not used in other web pages or reports without permission.
Today is . The contents (and links) on this page were last updated on March 18, 2013.
I am in the process of attempting to bring all of the pages on this site into compliance with current HTML5, CSS3, and W3c Web Accessibility standards. The bullet symbols used in the lists below identify pages as
- (open circle) still needs to be updated
- (filled disk) updated to HTML5 and CSS3.
As far as I can tell most of the updated pages work correctly with Safari v6, Google Chrome v24, Maxthon 4, and Explorer v10. I am finding some layout and style problems with Firefox v19. I'll try to fix these as soon as possible. Please let me know if you find page errors or pages that don't load correctly. Thanks!
Sound Waves and Sources
Basic Wave Phenomena
Sound Waves and Radiation from Sources
More Complicated Wave Phenomena
Vibration and Structural Waves
Vibration of 1-DOF Simple Oscillators
Vibration of Multi-DOF Systems
Vibrational Modes of Continuous Systems
Interactive Plots Demonstrating Acoustic Phenomena
The interactive plot in these links contain Mathematica Computable Document Format files and require the use of the free Wolfram CDF Player.
Videos of Acoustics Demonstrations on my YouTube Channel
- Longitudinal Wave Propagation on a Slinky - High Speed Video of two demonstrations: (1) Propagation speed depends on the number of slinky coils and (2) Propagation time is constant because wave speed is linearly proportional the stretch slinky length.
- The Coupled Oscillator - Two pendulums connected by a soft spring exhibit a coupled behavior
- Multiple-DOF Oscillations - Whiffle Balls and Rubber bands demonstrate mode shapes for 1-, 2-, 3-, and 4-degree-of-freedom mass-spring systems.
- The Friction Oscillator - A simple harmonic oscillator for which kinetic friction forces provide the restoring force that actually causes the oscillation to occur.
- This movie tied for First Place in the 2012 Gallery of Acoustics at the 164th meeting of the Acoustical Society of America.
- Motion of a Plucked String - High Speed Video (1000fps) showing the motion of a plucked string.
- Mode Shapes of a Circular Membrane #2 - High Speed Video (1000fps) showing the first several mode shapes of a circular membrane.
- Mode Shapes of a Circular Membrane #1 - The first several mode shapes of a circular membrane (captured with a strobe light)
- Regions of Forced Response - Comparing the stiffness-controlled, damping-controlled, and mass-controlled regions of the response curve for a forced, damped simple harmonic oscillator.
- Acoustic Propulsion - nonlinearities in Helmholtz resonators driven at very high pressure levels (greater than 125dB) create an acoustic thrust, similar to a rocket.