Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Interestingly, Takoma Narrows isn't an example of resonance, but rather of harmonically- reinforced chaos. There was no vibrational source, only the powerful stimulus of the wind that caused the harmonic and then chaotic reaction of the bridge. This could be argued further...
But I'd like to talk about resonance itself as a potential bridge between the mechanical (Newton), relativistic (Einstein), and quantum mechanical (Heisenberg and Schrodinger) universes. Unhappily I don't have the scientific or mathematical background to "prove" that resonance is a bridge between these three radically different ways of looking at the universe. But here's a broad outline of my thinking.
First, Newton's view of the universe was a culmination of the scientific view that reason, observation, and mechanical cause and effect are the only "true" reality, and completely seperate from our perception and consciousness of what we're observing. The universe acts according to universal laws which we experience from the outside.
Einstein brought consciousness somewhat into this picture, by showing that our experience of time changes when our speed relative to each other becomes very high. He was still operating under the presumption, however, that things were potentially certain -- all you had to do was find the right mathematical equations with which to express them.
Then, Heisenberg and Schrodinger, among many others, showed that reality itself changes when we observe it. In the world of quantum mechanics, consciousness is at the center of reality, whereas, in Newton's world, it was completely separate from it. Subsequent to their basic formulations, others found that the intention of the observer influenced what was being observed.
I'm not suggesting, like some have, that the only reality is in our consciousness. But I am saying that it's a two-way communication between observed and observer, and that the effectiveness of that communication depends on its resonant qualities: the energy and coherence of the sender, and the sensitivity and tuning of the receiver.
"Effectiveness of that communication?" More on this in subsequent posts, but my presumption is that we are in constant two-way communication with the world around us, at a myriad of different frequencies and through many different types of energy. Our understanding of and ability to use resonance can make us better senders and receivers; more attuned to and better able to influence what goes on inside of us, with other people, and with our environment.
Becoming more resonant can take place in many different ways, along a rich braided network of different paths. But the first step is developing awareness of the vibratory and energetic resonances we create and experience (1) within ourselves, (2) with others, and (3) with the environment. Maybe the best place to start developing that awareness, given the longevity and credibility of "objective" science, is by observing and cataloging resonance "out there," in the universe, at all frequencies.
So that's where we'll start.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Friday, May 1, 2009
I found a study at the University of California at Berkeley that quantifies the amount 0f information the world is producing, and how fast it's growing. The figures are astounding.
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
The main elements of resonance are (1) source amplitude, (2) source frequency, (3) target damping, and (4) target tuning. I'll talk about a fifth element, intention, in a later post.
Power is the amplitude of the source vibration. In a sound context, it's how far the air moves in each cycle of the sound wave. While this has much to do with perceived loudness, it's not the same thing, since our perception of loudness depends on a combination of amplitude, pitch, and subjectivity. The energy contained in a source vibration is proportional to the square of the amplitude of the wave. So if you increase the amplitude by a factor of two, the energy increases by a factor of 4. In addition, if you have two soundwaves with the same amplitude, one at a higher pitch, the one with the higher pitch has more energy.
Source Frequency, again in the context of music, is pitch. More generally, it's the number of cycles per given unit of time of a given vibration. So our brain's Alpha wave frequencies range between 8 and 12 cycles per second, or Hz. The lowest A on the piano is 26 Hz. Pluto's orbital cycle is .004032 revolutions per Earth year (one orbit around the sun every 248 years).
So we have a source that is vibrating at given frequencies and amplitudes, creating energy. The amount of that energy depends on the amplitude and frequency of those vibrations. The extent to which we get resonance from that energy depends on the target.
Target Damping is the degree to which the target is free to vibrate in response to energy from the source. If the target is heavily damped, it will have a very small and undifferentiated reaction to the cyclic energy of the source. As damping decreases, the target vibrates more. When damping passes through zero and goes into the negative, it is energy that essentially amplifies the source. So a target can either reduce or increase the energy from the source.
Target Tuning is the degree to which the target can "hear" the vibrations of the source. In the simple case of a tuning fork tuned to A440, it will only resonate to the same source frequency of 440Hz (Actually, it will also resonate to certain lower frequencies, but more on that in a later post). Jonathan Goldman calls this "free" resonance. The soundboards and air columns of musical instruments, on the other hand, are designed to resonate at a variety of frequencies. Indeed, the quality of that resonance in musical instruments is the foundation of the quality of the instrument itself. Johathan Goldman calls this second type of resonance "forced" resonance, and it is by far the most common type of resonance that we encounter in our day-to-day lives.
So to summarize: Resonance is the cyclic interaction between two entities. The degree of resonance depends on the amplitude and frequency (energy) of the source, combined with the damping and tuning of the target. This definition applies to all frequencies, from the planetary to the super-atomic, and in all energy realms, from the gross to the subtle and causal.
Resonance is good for us. Listening to good music, understanding and living by the cycles of the planets, aligning with our circadian rhythms, honoring the collective unconscious, living with cyclicality and ambiguity -- all contribute to our well-being. Conversely, listening to bad music, ignoring the cycles of the planets, living outside of our circadian rhythms, and not honoring the collective unconscious, all cause us to be less well, or less whole.
We're an integral and active part of a vibrating, cycling, breathing, singing universe. We're both listener and performer, and so need to develop both our ears and our “chops.”
Here are some of the fields and phenomena that manifest resonance in one way or another:
- Music therapy
- Reiki healing
- Energy systems
- Harmony and harmonic structure
- Quantum mechanics
- Sacred geometry
- Sound therapy
- Climate change
- Morphic resonance
- Radio broadcasting
- Heartbeats and heart rate variability
- Hearing of pitch
And here are some examples:
- The timekeeping mechanisms of all modern clocks and watches: the balance wheel in a mechanical watch and the quartz crystal in a quartz watch
- the resonance of the basilar membrane in the cochlea of the ear, which enables people to distinguish different frequencies or tones in the sounds they hear.
- Electrical resonance of tuned circuits in radios and TVs that allow individual stations to be picked up
- Material resonances in atomic scale are the basis of several spectroscopic condensed matter physics. Examples include Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, Mössbauer effect, Electron Spin Resonance, and many others.
- The shattering of a crystal wineglass when exposed to a musical tone of the right pitch (its resonance frequency)
Resonance is everywhere, and so deserves some focused attention. So here we go!