Can anyone help me find a proper illustration of a standing wave that comes as a result of the superposition of the travelling waves in a wine glass? I am looking for something like

Standing wave in wine glass, video screenshot

(from this video at around 0:45) but I have additional questions.

Is the standing wave in the glass (filled with water to some portion) going through the water as well? Or just the air? Doesn't superposition go through only 1 medium, and that they must be the same for both waves to be able to superpose them? If I must draw my own, how do I know where it is and which direction it is facing?

Thank you


1 Answer 1


I'm not sure about the explanation in the video you linked to. The presenter makes it look like the frequency you hear is derived from the air in the glass resonating. While this analysis does a pretty good job at explaining the frequency you would hear if you blow over the top of a test tube, or to a lesser extent a bottle it is not so applicable in the case of a wine glass.

The video refers to making the wine glass sound by rubbing you finger around the top of it. In this case you are producing a standing wave where the glass is vibrating rather than the air.

This video at 4:11 give some good slow motion video of the glass vibrating. The vibrating glass does make the air around it vibrate, which is what you hear, but the standing wave is not in the air, but rather in the glass itself.

  • $\begingroup$ thanks for your clarification, I will adjust my paper $\endgroup$
    – John Warts
    Feb 15, 2020 at 23:10

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.