130 – Violin Physics
In this episode we investigate the physics of the violin in a conversation with Jim Woodhouse of Cambridge University. We discuss the way the bow interacts with the strings, the different vibration modes of the body and how they influence the sound and the playability of the violin as well as how scientific methods (can) help with understanding existing and creating new violins.
- Prof. Jim Woodhouse
- Parts of a Violin (Diagram).
- Why is the violin so hard to play? (Paper)
- Body vibration of the violin (Paper)
- Harmonic (WP)
- Erhu – Chinese Violin (WP)
- Vibrato (WP)
- Experimental psychology (WP)
- Standing wave (WP)
- Helmholtz Motion – CCRMA – Stanford University
- Hermann von Helmholtz (WP)
- C. V. Raman (WP)
- Rosin (WP)
- omega tau 119 – Chaos
- Transients (WP)
- Banjo (WP)
- Resonance (WP)
- Mechanical impedance (WP)
- Holography (WP)
- Motion capture (WP)
- Bringing Gollum to Life – YouTube
- Antonio Stradivari (WP)
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Enjoyed to listen to Mr. Woodhouse (wonderful british accent, if I`m allowed to say that!), and nice to hear Nora doing some questions again!
Maybe she could have played some little tunes at the end of the show? ;-)
I used to play violin earlier, and besides the fact that I never reached a very advanced level, after some years of exercising it was fun.
Hearing Mr. Woodhouse talking about Rosin (Kolophonium) immediately brought back the specific smell into my nose! I loved that little “ceremony”, rubbing the Rosin on to the bow, checking the sound and the “grip” on the strings…
well, but I guess I might not have had the slightest understanding for something like the Helmholtz-Motion when I was fourteen and a lazy teenage girl with no interest in physics at all.
Shame on me ;-)
But it`s never too late to catch up…thanks to you guys!
Good luck with your efforts to catch up :-) And thanks for the nice feedback!
Good episode. Hopefully I’ll remember the details at the next cocktail party I attend :)
I’m glad you addressed both the research which came out a few years ago concerning the quality of classic instruments versus modern instruments as well as the playing the violin changing the physical structure of the violin as I’ve heard about both and was interested in your expert’s conclusions.
I played a violin for a brief period of my life and found it quite difficult. But if I pick it up in the future hopefully having a better physical understanding of it will allow me to learn faster.
Good luck :-)
The “Bringing gollum to life”-Link is broken (=-sign escaped). The correct link is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f0Krx0ozjJA
Thx, I will fix it ASAP!
Fascinating! I’ve learned much from this episode – thank you all!
As junior strucutral dynamics engineer involved in vibration simulation I really enjoyed this episode. Nico to hear about vibration problems with totally different objectives than the usual industry goal of mitigating unwanted noise.
Keep up the fabulous work with the podcast. You really find the best people about very interesting topics in science and engineering.
Nice! Good to hear that even people who understand the subject like the episode :)
They say the best gift is something you didn’t know that you wanted. This episode is just like that, and represents the best of omega-tau: I never would have thought to be interested in this subject, but once it started, it was fascinating.
Thanks Greg :)
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