Cymatics is the study of waves, and is usually linked with the visual patterns that are produced when sound waves affect a certain medium. You can see cymatics for yourself using a simple experiment. Sprinkle sand onto a metal plate. If you draw a violin bow along the edge, creating a vibration, the sand will form a wave pattern. The higher the frequency of sound, the more complex the shapes become. Some of the shapes have been compared to traditional mandala designs.

Galileo first wrote about Cymatics in 1632, describing how he scraped a brass plate with an iron chisel. At times the plate emitted a high-pitched sound, and at these times fine parallel streaks appeared. In 1680, Robert Hooke repeated the experiment using a glass plate covered with flour. As he ran a bow along the edge of the plate, the patterns emerged in the flour.

Over the centuries, cymatics has continued to be a hot research topic. Swiss scientist Hans Jenny coined the term Cymatics, meaning “matters pertaining to waves.”