Cymatics, the science of visible sound, has just taken a giant leap into the future

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Cymatics--the science of visible sound--has just taken a giant leap into the future, with profound implications for medical science

Cymatics--the science of visible sound--has just taken a giant leap into the future, with profound implications for medical science

The CymaScope is a new type of analog scientific instrument that makes sound visible, allowing scientists to see sound’s vibrations. Within the instrument the surface of pure water offers a kind of super-sensitive membrane and by imprinting sounds onto the liquid surface, unique patterns of sound energy are created for every unique sound. 

Just as the invention of the microscope and telescope revealed aspects of the world and Universe that we didn’t even know existed, the CymaScope allows the once hidden realm of sound to become visible.  And since everything in the Universe is in a state of vibration a tool that shows the structures within sound and vibration can provide important new scientific insights. 

Cymatics--the science of visible sound--has just taken a giant leap into the future,  with profound implications for medical science

Visualizations of piano note sounds via the Cymascope.

Cymatics--the science of visible sound--has just taken a giant leap into the future, with profound implications for medical science

But now, American scientist, Dr. Sungchul Ji, has developed a novel method to digitize the CymaScope, permitting the sound patterns to be analyzed with digital tools, effectively creating the world’s first Digital CymaScope. 

Dr. Sungchul explained, 

“I first encountered the CymaScope in November 2016 when its developer, John Stuart Reid, gave a lecture at the 11th Water Conference in Sofia, Bulgaria. I found his lecture on the Holographic Properties of Water to be inspirational, highlighting the potential for the CymaScope instrument. So much so that upon my return to the USA I began to investigate how I could digitize this important new scientific tool, which would allow me and other scientists to analyze CymaGlyphs (the name given to sound patterns) quantitatively. I contacted John Stuart Reid and made suggestions as to how this might be possible. Astonishingly, within the space of only a few weeks, facilitated by the timely financial support provided by GreenMedInfo, Bonita Springs, FL, USA we were able to develop a digital method that allows any CymaGlyph to be analyzed numerically.”  

John Stuart Reid takes up the story,

"Dr. Sungchul’s method, like all good ideas is simple in its concept, requiring a camera that captures the CymaScope imagery and outputs RAW video frames that can then be analysed by a combination of powerful software tools. We chose the Blackmagic Production Camera, which offers superb resolution and stability. The visible sound imagery we are now working with provides a level of detail we had only previously dreamed of. It is poetic to think that Dr. Sungchul is researching Blackbody Radiation and that the camera providing the key to the Digital CymaScope is named “Blackmagic". My team and I are very excited about the future".

The first project chosen for the Digital CymaScope is to differentiate between healthy cells and diseased cells. All cells create sound as a natural aspect of their metabolism and healthy cells have a different sonic signature to diseased cells. When cell sounds are made visible with the Digital CymaScope distinctive features can be analyzed that could lead to the development of a new diagnostic tool.

Sungchul Ji recently published a paper in which the Digital CymaScope is cited for the first time. Titled,  "Waves as the Symmetry Principle Underlying Cosmic, Cell, and Human Languages”, part of its abstract predicts that gravitational waves will one day be visualized with the Digital CymaScope. If this prediction proves to be valid, a new era of quantitative gravitational cosmology may emerge in the future in which the Digital CymaScope may play an essential role.   Dr. Sungchul’s paper was published on 20th February 2017 by MDPI (Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute), an academic open-access publisher with headquarters in Basel, Switzerland.

To stay abreast of the continued research and development milestones related to the Digital CymaScope visit

Learn more about Sungchul Ji's work on his website:

Learn more about John Stuart Reid's work on his website:





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