Clang! Ernst Chladni’s Sound Experiments


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What if your science experiments were so interesting that even an Emperor wanted to know more? Clang! is about the cool, simple science of sound experiments, or acoustics.

Traveling Scientist entertains with Sound Experiments: Simple Science Experiments

In 1806, scientist Ernst Chladni (KLOD-nee) left Germany for a three-year road trip, entertaining Europeans with his science experiments.

He made wires, columns of air, and solids vibrate. He wrote about this in his native German language, but his French scientist friends wanted to read about it in French. But how could he get the cash he needed to write his new book?

In February, 1809, Chladni’s friends took him to the Tuliere Palace. This elementary science picture book dramatizes the exciting meeting between a German scientist and French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte.

Because of his work with sound, Chladni was known as the Father of Acoustics. The book he wrote with Napoleon’s money became the foundation of the study of sound. In his travels, he also picked up meteorites. He was the first scientist to suggest that meteor came from space. He’s also known as the Father of Meteorite Studies.

This book dramatizes the need for international cooperation to advance science. Chaldni’s original book on acoustics was printed in German. But when he rewrote it in French, he rewrote it, adding new concepts, making it the most important book on sound to for the nineteenth century.

Science Experiments to Entertain

Like Bill Nye, the Science Guy today, Chladni popularized science. But during his work as an entertainer, he struggled to find the time and finances do actual research. This story provides a glimpse at the life of Ernst Chladni, the Father of Acoustics. It’s an amazing example of how scientists collaborate internationally. The story is based on Chladni’s own description of the event.

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