The Physics Behind the Singing Wine Glass


It’s the day before Thanksgiving here in the US, a time when family and friends gather to give thanks for all that they have in their lives (theoretically, anyway).

Instead of presenting an in-depth analysis of a research paper on what is likely a day off for some

Photo available in Public Domain

Photo available in Public Domain

of you, we’re going to keep things a little light on The Academic Wino today and present to you a fun, at times cheesy, and educational video on the physics behind “the singing wine glass”.

You’ve seen it before–someone rubs their finger around the rim of a wine glass and it produces a tone as if the glass were “singing”.  It’s not some crazy magic going on, just straight up physics that anyone can do with any wine glass you have sitting about your Thanksgiving table.

Once you’ve imbibed a sufficient amount of the vino, and you’ve decided to start a family band, whip out the wine glasses and write yourself a catchy new tune using physics!

“How can I get my wine glass to sing”, you ask!  Well, I’ll let the guys over at The Sci Guys give you that lesson in this 5 minute video.  Enjoy!

I would love to see you all trying this little experiment at home!  Take some video of you and yours playing with this wine glass physics, upload to YouTube, and send the link in a comment or on our Facebook or Twitter pages!

Are you interested in more video demonstrations or experiments? In 2014, The Academic Wino will be incorporating video into the blog, and we’d love to hear your requests and suggestions for content.

Cheers, and Happy Thanksgiving to you from The Academic Wino!

1 comment for “The Physics Behind the Singing Wine Glass

  1. William Gulvin
    December 6, 2013 at 11:39 pm

    Singing wineglass? How about Mozart played on the Glass Harmonica.

    Benjamin Franklin built on this concept and invented the Glass Armonica:

    On either instrument, the sound is unearthly sublime, to the point that it supposedly was widely outlawed in the 19th Century as likely to cause insanity. Read all about it on good ol’ Wikipedia:

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