Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 3.djvu/20

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10
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

of the funnel. The vibrations are transmitted by the liquid to the tray below, which is thrown into tremors, and a swelling musical sound is the result.

Fig. 8.
PSM V03 D020 Vibrations conveyed through water.jpg
Vibrations conveyed through Water.

The following beautiful experiment, described by Prof. Tyndall, shows how music may be transmitted by an ordinary wooden rod. In a room two floors beneath his lecture-room, there was a piano upon which an artist was playing, but the audience could not hear it. A rod of deal, with its lower end resting upon the sounding-board of the piano, extended upward through the two floors, its upper end being exposed before the lecture-table. But still no sound was heard. A violin was then placed upon the end of the rod, which was thrown into resonance by the ascending thrills, and instantly the music of the piano was given out in the lecture-room. A guitar and a harp were substituted for the violin, and with the same result. The vibrations of the piano-strings were communicated to the sounding-board, they traversed the long rod, were reproduced by the resonant bodies above, the air was carved into waves, and the whole musical composition was delivered to the listening audience.

The instrument of hearing in man consists of an external orifice about an inch and a half deep in adults, which is closed at the bottom by the circular tympanic membrane. This membrane, though moderately strong, is quite thin, and almost transparent. It is made up