Ernst Chladni

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Ernst Florenz Friedrich Chladni (November 30, 1756 - April 3, 1827) was a German physicist.

Chladni was born in Wittenberg. His work on vibrating plates and the calculation of the speed of sound for different gases made him the founder of acoustics. The patterns formed by a thin layer of sand on a vibrating plate are called "Chladni patterns".

He invented a musical instrument called Chladni's euphonium, consisting of glass rods of different pitches, which should not be confused with a brass euphonium. He also discovered Chladni's law.

In 1794, Chladni published, in German, Über den Ursprung der von Pallas gefundenen und anderer ihr ähnlicher Eisenmassen und über einige damit in Verbindung stehende Naturerscheinungen, (On the Origin of the Pallas Iron and Others Similar to it, and on Some Associated Natural Phenomena), in which he proposed that meteorites have their origins in outer space. This was a very controversial statement at the time, and with this book Chladni also became one of the founders of modern meteorite research.

Further Reading

Rossing T.D. (1982) Chladni's Law for Vibrating Plates, American Journal of Physics 50, 271-274

Marvin U.B. (1996) Ernst Florenz Friedrich Chladni (1756-1827) and the origins of modern meteorite research, Meteoritics & Planetary Science 31, 545-588

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