How to Take Pictures of Sound Waves with $9 and your Camera

A couple of months ago, I wrote a post going over Schilieron Flow Visualization, a method used to detect and visualize waves emitted from sound. NPR gave us a detailed and incredibly informative look into how it was all done.

Now, it looks like there’s a way to capture those waves through a lens yourself. A user on Instructables named jlansey recently put up a tutorial going over how you can make your own setup on a $9 budget (…assuming you already have a camera, of course).

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Invisible Waves: NPR Science Video Shows Exactly What Sound Looks Like

Screen Shot from Video.

Back in the mid-1800s, August Toepler gave us a way to be able to look at sound. Not synthetically visualize it- but actually be able to look at it. His invention was called Schilieron Flow Visualization; by implementing the complex technique into your camerawork, you’ll actually be able to see waves. Whether it’s the waves made from the snap of your fingers, or the waves from the hiss of an opened Pepsi bottle- you can see the noise they make. And NPR released a video that shows you how its done.

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