Definition of Chladni figures in US English:

Chladni figures

(also Chladni patterns, Chladni's figures)

plural noun

  • The patterns formed when a sand-covered surface is made to vibrate. The sand collects in the regions of least motion.

    • ‘In the first place, Jenny produced both the Chladni figures and Lissajous figures in his experiments.’
    • ‘The science of Chladni patterns and Cymatics have shown, sound vibrations can organise matter into distinct shapes.’
    • ‘Modern research into the phenomena elicited in Chladni figures can be primarily attributed to the late Dr. Hans Jenny of Switzerland.’
    • ‘The symmetry of the Chladni figures is partially determined by the symmetry of the plates chosen.’
    • ‘The Chladni patterns arise because the sand collects in regions of minimal vibration.’
    • ‘In 1808, the German physicist Ernst F F Chladni had visited Paris where he had conducted experiments on vibrating plates, exhibiting the so-called Chladni figures.’


Early 19th century: named after Ernst Chladni (1756–1827), German physicist.


Chladni figures