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Question:
I hope I have the correct section! One of my students is trying to put together an in class project where she shatters a glass using her voice. Our question is how would we find out the correct thickness of the glass that would shatter with her voice? Or what type of glass works best for this. Any help or advice would be appreciated!



Replies:
You need very high quality (ie. expensive) glass. The likelihood of the glass shattering increases with the Q value for the resonance of interest. You can tell what the resonant frequencies are by just hitting the glass with a fork (I do this at parties all the time) and the Q value would be determined by the length of time the tone the glass makes takes to decay till you cannot hear it any more. Also, the thinner the glass the more likely it will shatter. Try to find a thin glass with a resonant frequency in a range where your student can sing and with a very long-lasting tone, and get her to sing long notes exactly on that resonant pitch. It still might not work though... Good luck!

Arthur Smith



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