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← This Remarkable Thing

bethe123's Avatar Jump to comment 21 by bethe123

Stevezar et al:

I have to wonder what video you watched, since it obviously wasn't the one posted on this thread -- Stevezar

We watched exactly the same video. What you take away from it depends on what you bring to it.

So, a random sampling: "Strike the string of a musical instrument at random anywhere along its length, and you're unlikely to hit a pure harmonic. But if you do it enough, sooner or later, you'll catch a harmonic more perfectly than "sagovia" or "ken wah chung" ever did."

Well, that is a false statement. For most string instruments that I am aware of, when you strike or pluck the string, you always get higher frequencies. You never get a pure harmonic. Never. No matter how many times you do it. That is a basic fact that follows from the physics of wave propagation (in this case standing waves) on a string, combined with a Fourier analysis of the wave. You would have to arrange to strike or pluck the string in a very special way to get the effect he is talking about. But he says it. It sounds plausible. And it makes a nice segue into the multi-verse which is based on string theory. But it is wrong.

Science is interesting enough to stand on its own, without the need for hyperbole. You don't have to make false or misleading statements. And you don't have to trumpet speculative theories. But hey, if you like that type of thing...

Tue, 04 Jan 2011 20:33:34 UTC | #573407