Sounds are made by vibrations. The Oscylinderscope exhibit allows visitors the opportunity to view the normally unseen vibrations of guitar strings. The white stripes on the drum highlight a portion of the guitar string which is captured by your eye. When the drum is spinning, your eye retains the image for a moment, and your brain combines a series of images into a wave pattern that is not really there. This is called the “persistence of vision.”
Unlike an ordinary guitar, each of the three guitar strings on the Oscylinderscope is a different length. The tension, thickness, and length of a string affect its frequency of vibration. Frequency is the number of waves in a given time. Oscylinderscope gives visitors an opportunity to see the frequency of the guitar strings. Shorter or tighter strings vibrate faster to make sounds with a higher pitch. Longer or looser strings vibrate slower to make sounds with a lower pitch. Visitors can tighten the strings by stepping on the pedal at the base of the exhibit.
Exhibit concept designs provided by Gyroscope Inc.
MOXI, The Wolf Museum of Exploration + Innovation