# Can I compute mass of an object in a box based on the sound the object makes when shaken? (Barton Fink movie)

In this movie called "Barton Fink" the main character, Fink, is given a mysterious box with an object inside it, he shakes the box up and down, is it possible to calculate the mass of the object inside that box based on the frequency of the noise that it makes?

Time at which he does this if anyone is interested is 1 hour and 30 minutes in. This is also for a discussion I'm having in class and if there is any other way to find clues of what is in the box I'd be very interested.

• Cannot be the frequency of sound as it will depend about the nature (and shape?) of the body inside. If you have to distinguish between mass only, you can get a hint on it if you have a lot of confidence on the impulse you give and on your sense of time interval. You can assume a constant impulse and look for the time it takes for the object to hit the cover. – Alchimista Oct 21 '17 at 13:40
• I don't know about mass, but... I'm only sure that you can't hear the shape of a drum in 16 dimensions. Related info can be found here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hearing_the_shape_of_a_drum . I'm not sure if in general (for any dimentionality) you can or can't hear the shape of the drum, but I'd read the related literature. I know of a example in 2d in which you CAN'T hear the shape of a drum. Have fun! – Vendetta Oct 22 '17 at 2:52