Saturday, October 27, 2012

Singing Sand: The Rocks Cry Out

Several dunes around the world "sing" when the sand is disturbed, and no one knows quite why. But now we seem to be closing in on what it is: not the shape of the dune but the type of sand in it. In other words, not so much the topography as the geochemistry and the geophysics.

The two different-sounding dunes in the video above still sound different when the sand is put in a shallow pan in the lab, and sifting the sand will change the sound. I find this all very cool. What kind of musical instruments could result from this? Something like the theremin at the very least.

More on the data, and another video, can be found here.

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