How I broke a wine glass with my VOICE (using science!) | Summary and Q&A

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January 17, 2018
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Physics Girl
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How I broke a wine glass with my VOICE (using science!)

TL;DR

Nonprofessional singers can break wine glasses with their voice by matching the glass's resonant frequency and holding the note loudly.

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Key Insights

  • 🍷 Breaking wine glasses with sound requires matching the glass's resonant frequency and holding the note loudly.
  • 😎 Glass-breaking with sound is possible for nonprofessional singers.
  • 🙂 The glass needs a slight scratch or defect to initiate the crack that leads to its breakage.
  • 🍷 Physics plays a crucial role in understanding the mechanics and science behind breaking wine glasses with sound.
  • 🤔 Crystal glasses are more suitable for breaking due to their non-damped characteristics and thin rims.
  • 😎 Singing at the resonant frequency puts stress on small cracks, eventually leading to the glass's fracture.
  • 😎 Accurate pitch and resonance are necessary for breaking the glass.

Transcript

Thanks to brilliant.org for supporting PBS Digital Studios. Hey-yo. It's Dianna, and you're watching Physics Girl. Let's just get right to it. Is there like a note, like ooo or aaah? MIKE BOYD: Yeah, I think a [HIGH PITCH NOTE] an E. E is the best note. So try not to touch your lips on the glass. OK. MIKE BOYD: Yeah, that's it. OK-- [HIGH PITCH ... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: Can nonprofessional singers break wine glasses with their voice?

Yes, as shown by YouTuber Mike Boyd and Physics Girl in the video. By matching the glass's resonant frequency and singing loudly, it is possible to break the glass.

Q: Why is the resonant frequency important in breaking the glass?

The resonant frequency is the frequency at which the glass vibrates the most. By driving the glass at its resonant frequency, the amplitude of the vibrations increases, eventually leading to the glass breaking.

Q: Why do the glasses need to have a scratch or defect?

The glass needs a slight scratch or defect to initiate the crack that will eventually cause the glass to break. Without these imperfections, it would take a very long time to weaken the glass through the vibrations alone.

Q: What role does physics play in breaking wine glasses with sound?

Physics is essential in understanding the concepts of resonant frequency and amplitude. It helps singers determine the pitch and loudness required to break the glass successfully.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • YouTuber Mike Boyd successfully breaks a wine glass with his voice, inspiring Physics Girl to try it as well.

  • The trick involves singing at the glass's resonant frequency and holding the note loudly.

  • The glass breaks due to the accumulated stress on small cracks caused by the vibrations.

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