Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Chiu-Yen Kao

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© 2015 Samuel A. Malagon


In this paper, we examine a method on how to model and produce Chladni Figures. We walk through how a thin metal plate, when vibrating at certain frequencies, can create various interest patterns. First we discuss the equation for the vertical force exerted on the plate, then we derive a PDE to solve for the nodal lines (lines that remain fixed, while the rest of the plate is oscillating). And, discuss how to create and model these figures, through a finite difference method. There have been several experiments on Chladni Figures, using some sort of vibrating membrane or plate and then either through the use of a speaker or a violin bow, produce frequencies in order to resonate with the membrane. These eigenvalue solutions can been physically observed by putting sand on the plate and vibrating it. We will approximate theses figures, calculate the convergence of the approximation, and relate the generated figures to figures produced in experiments.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.